Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Indian, pancake and salsa?!

This Indian onion bahdgea (pancake, latke) and mango chutney are my mom's recipes. My mom was born and raised just south of Mumbai, India.  In the 1960's about 60,000 of India's Bnai Israel Jewish community emigrated to Israel.  There is a very good book titled "Who are the Jews of India" by Nathan Katz, which covers the subject well. I have read few books on the subject and feel this one is by far the most authentic and true to source. My mom is gifted with that touch only few posses.  Even her sisters come to her for advice, and when they marry off their daugthers, they pre-order all the traditional dishes of Indian goodness, only few world artisans are capable of duplicating.  Fortunately, I am one of four sisters carrying on the tradition and has the recipes for safekeeping.  Although I do not have a daugther, I am fortunate enough to have a son who appreciates these heirloom recipes, hopefully for generations to come.
Chickpea flour in recipe can be found in many ethnic isles of your local supermarkets or local Indian grocery stores. At least in the metro Washington area, MD, DC and VA you can find Indian grocery stores sprinkled throughout the suburbs. Also, use spices according to taste, this is just a guideline and make this recipe your own!!

Indian Bahdgea (pancake, latke) ingredients:
Makes about 12-14 pancakes (depending on size of onions)
3 medium onion, peeled, halved and sliced thin
1-2 jalapenos sliced thin
1/3 bunch cilantro leaves chopped
1/2 cup plus chickpea flour (called gram flour)
water
1 egg
1/2 plus teaspoon Salt according to taste
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon red pepper
4 plus tablespoons canola oil

Directions:
Take 1/2 cup chickpea flour and add some water and mix until it's thick batter consistency. Whisk the egg in a small bowl and beat lightly, then add to Chickpea flour mixture. Add turmeric, cumin, red pepper and salt to chickpea flour mixture. Peel onion, half and slice onions very thin, add sliced jalapeno and cilantro to onions and add to chickpea mixture. Mix until batter mixture coats onions well, add flour and water if necessary. Heat up oil, spoon batches of pancakes batter into oil and fry in oil until deep golden on both sides. Remove from oil and put on paper towels lined plate.
Serve warm but surprisingly tastes very well next day as well. Can reheat in the oven at 350F.

Mango Chutney (salsa) ingredients:
1 green mango, peeled and diced
1/4 of large red onion diced
1-2 minced garlics (optional)
4-8 fresh mint leaves chopped
Handful cilantro leaves chopped
1/2-1 seeded jalapeno, diced
Touch of lime juice (1 tablespoon or more according to taste)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1-2 teaspoons sugar
Coconut flakes (optional)
1-2 tablespoons oil if keeping for few days in fridge

Directions: My mom puts all ingredients once or twice through a meat grinder.  The consistency with the garlic, jalapeno, coconut and the rest of the ingredients is unparalleled but a food processor or mortar and pestle are other options as well. I like the consistency of a salsa for an updated  look.  In the salsa version I mix all ingredients but the coconut flakes and garlic. I do add coconut flakes and garlic if I use my mom method and run the chutney through a meat grinder or mortar and pestle. That make more of an authentic Indian chutney. Can interchange garlic, red onion or shallots according to desire. My mom uses garlic.

12 comments :

  1. Hi Shulie! I love red lentil dahl and I was planning to make some this weekend. I think I will try this chutney with it!

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  2. Hi Veronica, That is great!! Love the fact both you and Sarah love Dahl. Let me know how it came out:)

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  3. I'm really looking forward to trying this. I'm experimenting with gluten-free food right now, and this sounds like a great way to spice things up! Btw, I love how this recipe has been handed down from India via Israel. So neat to know the history behind a dish.

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  4. Thanks Hilla!! This recipe has been such a hit. I brought it to a party recently and toned it down by seeding the jalapeno. Play w/the consistency of the batter, it comes together when frying. Let me know how it turns out:). Shulie

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  5. I'm late to the party. I just discovered your blog (from your foodbuzz invite to me) and I'm so glad I did!

    I can't wait to try the Mango Chutney!

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  6. Shulie! You've always been such an inspiration. Your blog has so much to offer. In india we also call these bhajias or pakoras. They are sooo yummy and perfect for a rainy day.

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  7. Thanks An. Appreciate so much you support and friendship!! Sincerely!! Thanks you so much you are a doll!!

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  8. When my son was recently diagnosed with a gluten allergy, I made these little pancakes, but I served them like Chinese scallion pancakes with a soy sesame sauce. Love this mango chutney recipe - I'll have to try this next time! So glad to have found your beautiful blog!

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  9. Hi Jeanette, Sounds really interesting the way you served these. Chickpea flour is such a great substitute for gluten allergies. We also got food allergies here, not to gluten, but I can sympathize.
    Rice, I was in a phase of 1:1.2 ratio only w/basmati but now I am back to 1rice:2water ratio. I wash, drain well in a sieve, stir fry a bit in little oil, cover with water, salt to tast maybe pepper, bring to a boil. Turn low cover with lid and let cook till all liquid evaporates. Turn off and let sit for 20 minutes longer with lid on. serve.

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  10. very interesting recipes here especially ur pancake..it looks so delicious...hope will try out oneday..
    btw, am your happy follower now and do stop by mine sometime..tq

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