Sunday, February 21, 2010

Constant Craving

You know how sometimes a tune gets stuck in your head and keeping on playing. You can't get it out of your head. This is particularly vexing if it is a cheesy tune and it gets stuck in the early hours of the day.

Something similar happened last week; instead of a tune, the voices kept saying 'muthia, muthia'.

This was surprising since muthias are not something I make often. So where was this craving coming from? Weird!
Anyway since the craving wasn't for something like pound cake or some deep fried goody I gave in.

Muthias usually have a fair amount of flour, cooked rice, or both.
Since I usually don't have any leftover rice on hand, I used leftover quinoa instead. The quinoa has to be warmed and pounded (into submission) before adding it to the dough. Otherwise the quinoa grains stay apart and don't bind the greens and the rest of the ingredients together.

Here is my take on the very traditional muthias.

Chard Quinoa Muthias
The proportions are a mere guideline.

1 bunch chard leaves. Set aside the stems, see notes below
1 tsp grated ginger
1 (or more) green chillies
1 tsp owa (ajwain, bishop's weed), lightly roasted
½ whole wheat flour
1 cup cooked quinoa
1 tsp oil
a generous pinch baking soda
salt, to taste

6-7 kadhilimba (curry leaves)
1 tbsp brown sesame seeds
kothimbir (coriander leaves, cilantro) for garnishing
Phodni kit (oil, mustard, turmeric, asafoetida)

Wash and finely chop the greens. Set aside. Drain/ wipe much of the water.
Grind the chillies and the ginger to make a paste.
Slightly warm the quinoa and run it through the food processor/ blender to get a pulpy mass.
Mix together the greens, ginger-chilli paste, quinoa pulp, flour, owa, oil and the baking soda to make a soft dough.
Do not over mix but make sure all the ingredients are evenly mixed in.
You may need to add more flour if the greens are too moist.

Divide the mixture in 4-5 parts and form each part into a long oval.
Steam (in a pressure cooker) for about 15 minutes or till a glaze appears.
Or your could insert a tooth pick, if it comes out turn off the heat.

Cool completely before slicing.

Prepare the tempering
Heat oil, add mustard seeds. When they start crackling add the turmeric and then the asfoetida.
Add the curry leaves and then the sesame seeds. Toss them around for a bit and turn off the heat.
After about a minute add the lemon juice.
Pour the tempering over the muthias.

This is how I used the stems: chopped them finely, added a bit of yogurt, salt, a pinch of sugar and topped with a bit of phodni (tempering) made for the muthia. Fantastic!

For more muthia variations, see this and this.
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