Wednesday, August 19, 2015

101 gluten free breakfasts : scrambled raw plantains south Indian style | plantain podimas recipe

plantain podimas recipe

Raw plantain or kachha kela is one of my favourite ingredients and I always have a couple of them in my fridge. In fact I buy a big bunch if I see nice fresh raw plantain with unblemished skin in the market. I never discard the skin so always make it a point to get fresh skinned plantains.

Kela meti ki subzi, kele aur sem ki subzi are  favourite in winters and I make a chutney with raw banana peels sometimes. Kachhe kele ke kofte is made less frequently though. I make the kababs with them too but haven't managed to post the as yet.

There are two types of raw plantains and no these are not the same variety that we eat as ripe bananas. Plantains taste very different even when they are ripe and I quite like the fritters made with them. In the picture below I have shared the two types we get. The rounded variety with a fat middle part and darker skin is the one that gets a little dry after cooking. The other slim plantains with lighter skin colour and slender tapering ends are tastier and stay soft even after cooking. There is a slight difference in taste too.

green plantain

The stout plantains are suited more for kababs and koftas and the slender ones for stir fries. But if you get tender plantains then even the stout ones are good to make stir fried dishes. And that is what I did in this recipe.

It so happened one day that I was alone at home and was thinking what to cook for my brunch. I saw Nandita had posted her plantain podimas recipe and I wanted to eat that. Podimas is normally cooked with boiled, peeled and grated plantains but since I wanted to retain the skin and wanted the stir fry to be quick too. After searching and reading a few recipes I came up with an altered recipe that suited me just fine. I actually loved the taste.

(one serving, a 10 minute recipe)

one medium sized raw plantain (3/4 cup when chopped like the picture)
3-4 springs of fresh curry patta
2 broken dry red chillies
1/4 tsp black mustard seeds
pinch of hing (asafoetida)
1/2 tsp urad daal (black lentils skinned)
1/2 tsp chana daal (black chickpeas skinned)
2 tbsp fresh grated coconut ( I used dehydrated grated coconut and re-hydrated it before use)
salt to taste
1 tsp ghee
lime juice to taste

chopped plantain


The first thing you have to do is lightly peel the plantain skin with a potato peeler so only a very thin layer is removed. If using a farm fresh plantain I would skip this step.

See how I cut the plantain in half lengthwise and then sliced thinly, before chopping small bits of it that resembles grated vegetable. You may want to grate using a box grater.

plantain podimas recipe

Then heat the ghee, add hing, mustard seeds, lentils and red chili in that order and let them all become aromatic.

Add chopped curry patta and fry for a second or two. Now add the chopped or grated plantain along with salt and stir fry for about 3-5 minutes or till it cooks.

Add the grated coconut, lime juice to taste and mix well, cook for a minute and serve immediately.

plantain podimas recipe

This plantain or raw banana podimas is a great substitute of poha or upma kind of breakfast. I had a glass of buttermilk with it and it was a very satisfying meal that kept me full for many hours.

Did you know raw plantains have resistant starch that makes this vegetable a very low glycemic index and that it is prebiotic too?

This breakfast is supplemented with good fats, great variety of fiber, complex carbs and yes even some protein. Add some sesame seeds if you want a little more protein in this meal.

I must tell you raw banana podimas is served like a subzi or side dish with Indian meals of rice and sambar etc. Converting it to a breakfast dish may work for you too. And mind it, this is a 10 minute breakfast recipe.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Mishti Doi recipe from scratch | a sweetened yogurt with caramelised milk flavour | Calcutta style Mishti Doi

Calcutta style Mishti Doi

I am so glad I started making yogurt once again. Dahi as we call yogurt, is an everyday thing and we were generating a lot of plastic cups apart from relying on a dahi that was not real.

Making dahi at home gave way to collecting the clotted cream from milk and processing it to make ghee too sometimes. But we consume full fat milk and yogurt everyday, the clotted cream (malai) is collected rarely so ghee making is not too frequent, I would like it more often as it gives fresh real buttermilk as a side product that I love.

I will share the ghee making process soon, because home made ghee is the best. Not that I don't buy any from the market.

When I posted the home made yogurt procedure some time ago many of you asked for a Mishti Doi recipe too. Mishti Doi is a popular sweetened (caramelised) yogurt from Bengal that has become popular all over the country.

Calcutta style Mishti Doi

To say the truth, I used to make Mishti Doi very frequently till my yogurt making habit suffered and I resorted to Mother Dairy. I had even posted a Mishto Doi recipe on Banaras ka Khana blog. I must tell you we both love the Mishti Doi from Mother Dairy and that was one reason I stopped making it.

But when many of you wanted a Mishti Doi recipe and  Prasad Np and Sushmita reminded me a few times to share it I had to make it again and click pictures, reason enough to share again. The older Mishti Doi recipe uses condensed milk and is way too sweet for me.

I made it twice with 2 slightly different methods and sharing both of them with my notes on taste and texture.

recipe of Mishti Doi with palm sugar 


1 liter milk (full fat 6-7%)
3 sachets of palm sugar (18 gm)
2 tbsp fresh yogurt for culture, preferably hanged


Reduce milk over medium flame till it becomes 500 ml. Cool down till it becomes lukewarm to touch. About 45 C.

Add the palm sugar and the yogurt and whisk well till the milk gets frothy. Use a wire whisk to do this and whisk vigorously. This helps emulsify any fats that may clot at the surface when the yogurt is set.

Now strain and pour in the earthen pot or a ceramic or glass jar. Keep in a warm place for 4-5 hours or till set and smells like yogurt.

Mishti doi recipe

Slow reduction of milk naturally caramelizes the sugars in milk (lactose) making the colour brownish, in this recipe a little color is enhanced by the palm sugar too. I used very little palm sugar as we eat mild sweet desserts so the flavours of the palm sugar are not too prominent. This mishti doi is quite delicately flavoured and mild sweet.

The creaminess is lesser because of less fat content. The sweetness is mild and flavourful due to the palm sugar.

Thanks Sushmita for the Palm sugar you brought from Thailand, we are using it lovingly :-)

recipe of Mishti Doi with caramelized sugar 


1 liter full fat (6-7%) milk
3 tbsp sugar (45 gm)
3 tbsp fresh cream (45 ml)
2 tbsp thick yogurt for culture


Reduce the milk by simmering it over medium flame till the volume becomes half. Cool till it becomes lukewarm to touch.

Meanwhile, caramelise the sugar. To do this, add 1 tbsp water to a flat base frying pan, add the sugar and place the pan over high heat. Keep rotating the pan so the sugar dissolves quickly over heat and starts getting brown at the edges. Keep rotating so the sugar doesn't burn at one spot, the sugar melts and gets browned within a minute or so, taking the consistency of honey. Now pour this into the cooling milk. Stir to dissolve.

Once the milk is lukewarm, add the cream and yogurt and whisk well till frothy. Strain and pour into desired pot or individual serving pots. Keep in a warm place till the yogurt is set.

Mishti doi recipe

This one will be more creamy and sweeter. When you use caramelised sugar to get the colour you can't do with light sweetening. This one was not too sweet but just like the Mother Dairy one.

creamy mishti doi

Remember milk has some sugar too, which makes it sweeter when milk is reduced.

Too much sugar would prevent setting of the yogurt and will spoil the taste of yogurt. You wont want sugar to hit your palate first. 

You can add some saffron or cardamom while whisking in the yogurt culture, but I like it plain. We sometimes have it with toppings of nuts or dried fruits or even shredded aam papad.

Srikhand is another yogurt based dessert from Maharashtra which is made by whisking hung yogurt so much that it becomes creamy and smooth. Srikhand can be flavoured with fruits, spices like cardamom and saffron etc too to be served as a dessert, but plain sweetened Srikhand is eaten with poori too I got to know. I have never tried and I don't intent to either.

Mishti Doi always is a proper dessert, sometimes served with a rasgulla dipped into it. The first time I ate a rasgulla dipped in Mithti Doi was at the wedding of Arvind's Bengali friend in Banaras about 2 decades ago. We were not married back then and I remember I was being treated to all sorts of good mithais and mithai combinations because G's father was very fond of Arvind and me.

Making you eat more mithai indicates more love in our country :-) It is well worth gobbling all that mithai if it is good old Rasgulla and Mishti Doi served together. They make a great combination.

Try it sometime and let me know.