I would like to call them 'Crackling balls'. Coated with lightly fried white sesame they make the perfect tea time snack and a meal when accompanied with a salad on the side. A healthy gluten free meal or snack is ready within couple of minutes when you have the steamed balls in your fridge.
Yes, the balls can be steamed and refrigerated for a week or can be frozen for about 6 months. They make a versatile ingredient once you have them ready in your fridge, a kofta curry made quickly just using these balls would make a dinner easy when you would like to have a warming curry but feeling exhausted. Having some frozen bhuna masala would make it a breeze, just pour some water , bhuna masala and a few of these balls and microwave or cook in a pan till the balls soak the juices. I like these balls in my lentil soups too.
This time I made these balls using an unusual green. Chane ka saag or chickpea greens .
These are the growing tips of chickpea plant , very tasty even when eaten raw. They make nice salads on thier own and have a zingy savory taste. The leaves are not very soft and do not get mushy when cooked, so they make a nice ingredient for steamed pakodas (fritters) or dumplings. These dumplings are not muthias technically, the muthia (of Gujrati cuisine) have some wheat flour and millet flours added to it.
This one is made just with lentil flours or soaked lentil paste, the origin of these dumplings is Eastern UP as much as I know. These are called Bhaap ki pakodi (steamed fritters) , and many versions are there .
These steamed dumplings are normally served after deep frying the steamed balls, I used the Gujrati method of tempering to make them healthier, more so because I like the crackling sesame seeds this way...
With tea, they make a great snack to much on... we had it in the evening one day and it made a meal for us.
The process is simpler than you would imagine, although it looks like a lot of work has gone into it. Cleaning and chopping of the greens can be done in advance to make the process a bit easier to execute.
1.5 cups of soaked split chickpeas (chane ki dal)
chipped ginger 1 tbsp or more
red chilly powder or green chillies chopped to taste
whole cumin seeds 2 tsp
whole pepper corns 2 tsp
turmeric powder 1 tsp
salt to taste
chane ka saag (chick pea greens) finely chopped 4 cups tightly packed
chopped fenugreek leaves or a mix of coriander and dill leaves works really well too...
Blend the first 5 ingredients together in a mixie jar or food processor without adding any water to it.
In a bowl add the chopped greens and the lentil paste , add the turmeric powder and salt to taste..
Microwave these for 3-4 minutes in the microwave. Three minutes of covered and four if open. I do not have a large enough dome shaped cover for this plate so i cooked it for four minutes. But do cover it as soon as you take the plate out as microwave cooked things get dehydrated very fast when kept open....the rate of evaporation is really very high so covering helps in cooking the balls further too.
The cooked balls look like this, a bit darker in color. The condensed water can be seen in the plate.
I like these balls with crackling fried sesame seeds so I temper them quickly with a spicy mix.
oil 1 tsp
asafoetida 1/8 tsp
whole red chilly broken in two parts
small variety mustard seeds (rai) 1 tsp
sesame seeds 2 tsp
Heat oil in a pan and add the remaining ingredients in the order of the list one by one. They crackle a lot so be careful for your eyes....as soon as the sesame is fried as it is added last, add the dumplings and toss them with the tempering mix. Just for a minute.
I served it with kahva to my parents when they visited a couple of day back. It was loved by them. These dumplings are my grandmother's recipe and I have adapted it for Microwave cooking. My addition of Gujrati tempering over it was well received by the parents too.
Though it can be steamed in conventional steamers or even in idli steamers, even shaped like idlis if you like.
I love them made in the mini idli steamer too....Made it once at my mother's place and fried those mini idlis for every one...such small tidbit eats are most welcome with evening tea.
Steaming is your call, either use a conventional steamer or microwave. The dumplings will be as tasty every time. The greens or other vegetables like grated carrots, cabbage and spring onion make a great combination for such dumplings.
Call it Muthia or Bhaap ke pakode , these crackling balls would be a favorite I bet.
What shape would you like it.