Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Papad Ki Subji

With so many events going on in the blogsphere, it is difficult to keep track of them all and much less actually participate.
Each time I read about a new event I make fancy plans of sending in a dhinchak (for those not from Pune or Mumbai, this loosely translates into cool, fantastic, incredible) entry. But when each day of the work week pans out like a manic Monday, all those plans fall by the wayside.

I was not able to participate in several RCI events and felt terrible about that. Wasn't going to let RCI:Rajasthan slip by in a similar fashion. This wonderful blog event, initiated by Lakshmi of VeggieCuisine , urges us to explore the varied regional cuisines of India and is one of my favourite blog events.

The only problem this time around was that I didn't posses a single book that had Rajasthani recipes. I couldn't even rely on previous Rajasthani meals as I had Rajasthani food just once; daal-baati served with an outrageous amount of ghee.

After hunting around for inspiration I settled on papad ki subji. The idea of using papad was rather intriguing. Going by the many versions I found for making this subji there didn't seem to be a right or a wrong way to make it. This suited me just fine as I'm notorious about not sticking to a recipe.

(Standard disclaimer: the food in the picture is tastier than it appears.)

One of the versions that appealed to me used methi seeds. I happened to have fresh methi leaves on hand so I added those as well. If one type of methi is good, two types will be better. Right?

This subji came together in no time. Almost no preparation required.
The dahi (yogurt) made it nice and tangy. Had I used regular or low-far yogurt, it would've been creamier. The papads get incredibly soft and the resulting texture of the dish is similar to the Maharashtrian Daal-Phal (waran-phal) or the Gujarati Daal-Dhokli.

Papad Ki Subji
(serves two)
2-3 avegage sized papads (I used Lijjat plain urad papads)
2 tbsp methi seeds, soaked in a cup of warm water
3 tbsp dahi (yogurt)
½ tsps each mirchi powder, turmeric powder, cumin powder
1 cup fresh methi leaves, chopped
1 tbsp oil
dash of hing (asafoetida)
4-5 stalks of cilantro, chopped
a pinch of garam masala, optional (I didn't use any)
salt to taste

Soak the methi seeds soak in warm water for ½ an hour.
Break the papads into small pieces.
Heat the oil, add the mirchi, turmeric and cumin powders.
Add the hing and the methi seeds (with ½ of the water).
Cover and cook for a few minutes, till the methi seeds soften slightly.
Add the methi leaves and cook for a few more minutes.
Add the yogurt and a cup of water and let it come to a boil, stirring frequently.
Add the papad pieces and cook for an additional 3-4 minutes.
Taste and add salt accordingly. I didn't need to add any salt.
Enjoy with hot rotis.

My entry for RCI: Rajasthan, hosted by Padmaja.
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