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Soji Bread (Hundwa) and Four Dal Khichdi (Pulagam)

What's Cooking? by P.S. Lakshmi Rao

Soji Bread (Hundwa)

Ingredients

1 cup coarse soji (ravva)

½ cup besan (chick pea or gram flour)

1 teaspoon coriander powder

½ teaspoon cumin powder

½ teaspoon cumin seeds

1 tablespoon chopped green chilies

1 teaspoon chopped ginger

1 cup yogurt or buttermilk

1 ½ cups grated dudhi (anapakayi or opal squash)

1 teaspoon salt or to taste

 1 pinch baking soda

 Tadka

 4 teaspoons oil divided

½ teaspoon small red mustard seeds

1 teaspoon sesame seeds divided

curry leaves from 2 stems

 Method

In a medium bowl, mix first ten ingredients.  Add soda and mix well.  Cover and set batter aside for fifteen minutes.

 Heat two teaspoons oil in a ten-inch nonstick pan on medium low heat. Fry mustard seeds until they start to pop. Add curry leaves and half a teaspoon sesame seeds and spread the batter on top of the spices evenly. Sprinkle other half teaspoon sesame seeds and two teaspoons oil on top of the soji bread. Keep covered until it becomes light brown on the bottom.  Flip and roast until light brown. Flip again and roast soji bread on low heat uncovered, to make soji bread crispy.

 Cut it pizza-style and eat plain or with chutney.

Makes four servings.

 Note: 1. Place a small cup in the middle before spreading the batter in the pan. Spread the batter slowly around the cup so that the cup stays in place. This helps the soji bread to cook well in the middle.

2. Add a tablespoon of water if the batter is too thick to spread. Do not add extra water if buttermilk is used.

 3. If the pan is small divide the batter into half and make two soji breads.


Four Dal Khichdi or Pulagam

1 ½ cups rice

¼ cup chana dal

¼ cup mung dal

¼ cup tur dal

¼ cup masoor dal

 Wash and soak rice and dals together for 15 minutes in a bowl and drain.

 Tadka

 2 teaspoons oil

2 teaspoons homemade ghee or butter

3 dried red chilies – broken into pieces

1 teaspoon cumin seeds

1 teaspoon whole black pepper

½ teaspoon turmeric (haldi)

¼ teaspoon asafetida (hing) (optional)

Curry leaves from two stems

3 green chilies cut diagonal into three pieces each

1 teaspoon salt or to taste

4 cups water

1 tablespoon roasted cashews for garnish (optional)

 Method

Heat oil and ghee in a four-quart saucepan on medium heat. Add red chilies, cumin seeds, black pepper, turmeric, asafetida (if using), curry leaves, and green chilies. Add rice and dals mixture. Fry for a minute. Add water and salt. Mix and cook until it starts to boil. Mix and reduce the heat. Cook, covered on low heat until the dals and rice are cooked, mixing occasionally, making sure not to let the khichdi stick to the bottom of the pan. Add little more water if desired.

Transfer khichdi into a serving dish and garnish with cashews.

 Makes four to six servings.

 Note: Cook in pressure cooker for three whistles and remove the cooker from the heat (if it is an electrical stove). Open the cooker after it cools down.

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