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Guide To Normal and Artisan Flours

Ma Ka Kitchen stocks a wide range of flours/attas designed for any diet or occasion, but if you don't have a mother quite as versed in ancient grains and history, it can be quite a daunting affair to figure out what is what and which is best for what purpose.

So we have created this handy guide to help you navigate this as for those with specific allergies, some of these lesser known flours can change the game for you :).

Check it out!

Atta (Wheat Flour) - Click To Shop

 Name: Atta
English Name: Whole Wheat Flour
How Is It Made: Indian Atta is typically stone ground to a very fine flour in a "plate/disk mill" called a chakki, This method causes more "damage" to the starch and protein, which releases more sweetness, and it also generates heat, which can lightly toast the flour and give it a roasted taste. Atta also absorbs more water, which makes doughs for flat breads (such as chapati) softer, but doesn't work as well for traditional sandwich loaves.

Is It Gluten Free: No.
Common Things Made From: Roti, Chapati, Paratha, Puri
Religious Significance? N/A
What Does It Taste Like: Atta is often referred to as having a sweet, yet slightly bitter taste and it is the most common taste you'll get when getting a Roti from an Indian Restaurant
Known Benefits: whole wheat flour or atta is a good source of complex carbohydrates, protein, fiber, vitamin B1, B3, B5, riboflavin and folate. It also has a good amount of calcium and iron

 

Besan (Check Pea Flour) - Click To Shop

 Name: Besan
English Name: Chick Pea Flour
How Is It Made: Chickpea flour is made from dry chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans. A similar flour made from yellow gram lentils, which are split chickpeas is called gram flour. Split chickpea flour is called Besan in Hindi. You will find both of these commonly referred to as Chickpea flour.

Is It Gluten Free: Yes
Common Things Made From: Gluten free versions of Roti, Paratha and So On.

A coating for vegetables in making Pakora

It is also used in making sweets such as Besan Ki Ladoo and Mysore Pak
Religious Significance? N/A
What Does It Taste Like: It has a fairly neutral, slightly nutty, slightly ‚Äúbean-y‚ÄĚ flavour that lends itself well to both savoury and sweet dishes.
Known Benefits: Chickpea flour is full of vitamins and minerals, with 1 cup (92 grams) providing 101% of the RDI for folate and over a quarter of your daily needs for several other nutrients.

It is full of Vitamin A, B, C and D. It is a good source of iron, potassium, magnesium and calcium. It is a rich source of protein and fiber. It is gluten-free and low in fat. Besan is low in carbohydrates. Besan is also great for your skin. It can help tighten pores, reduce acne and lighten your skin.

 

Jaun Ki Atta - (Barley Flour) - Click To Shop

 Name: Jaun Ki Atta
English Name: Barley Flour
How Is It Made: Barley flour is a fine powder made by grinding whole barley grain. Along with many other flours, it can be used to replace part of the wheat flour in a recipe for a different flavor and texture
Is It Gluten Free: No
Common Things Made From: Healthier alternative for Flat Bread (Roti, Paratha)

 Also used for or in conjunction with other flours for bread dough, quick breads, rye bread and more. q
Religious Significance? N/A
What Does It Taste Like: Barley flour has a sweet, nut-like flavour
Known Benefits: As a whole grain, barley provides fiber, vitamins, and minerals. These offer various health benefits. Consuming a diet rich in whole grains may help reduce the risk of obesity, diabetes, heart disease, certain types of cancer, and other chronic health concerns.

 

Soya Atta - (Soy Flour) - Click To Shop

 Name: Soya Atta
English Name: Soy Flour
How Is It Made: Soy flour is derived from roasted soybeans finely grounded into a powder.
Is It Gluten Free: Yes
Common Things Made From: Soy flour is used as an alternative to Wheat flour in flat breads as a healthier, gluten free option.

Soy flour can be used coarsely powdered as a thickening agent in gravies and sauces, or it can be added, finely powdered, to baked goods. It is used extensively to make fudge and other candies, pies, doughnuts, cakes and rolls, pasta, pancake mixes and frozen desserts.
Religious Significance? N/A
What Does It Taste Like: It is golden tan in color and has a powdery texture similar to that of all-purpose flour. It has a warm, toasted, and nutty aroma, and its flavors are similar to its aroma, and slightly reminiscent of roasted peanuts.
Known Benefits: Soy flour is rich in vitamins, minerals, isoflavones and lecithin, nutrients proven to help lower cholesterol, prevent cancer and loss of bone mass. Soy is strongly recommended for diabetics, expectant mothers, growing children, cardiac patients, weight-watchers and the aged.

 

Makki Ki Atta (Corn/Maize Flour) - Click To Shop

 Name: Makki Ki Atta
English Name: Corn/Maize Flour
How Is It Made: Makki Corn Flour is a fine, smooth powder made from maize of corns.
Is It Gluten Free: Yes
Common Things Made From:

Makki Ki Atta is used to make dishes like Methi Paratha, Makai Mooli, Dhokla and so on, as well as desserts like Tikkar. 

It is also a gluten free alternative for Wheat in flat breads.

In Western culture, it is used for an assortment of baked and fried products like Corn Bread, Muffins, Pancakes, and Gluten Free alternative products to wheat.

Religious Significance? Often used in the Punjabi festival Lohri
What Does It Taste Like: Corn flour has an earthy, sweet taste similar to whole corn
Known Benefits: Maize flour is a carbohydrate rich and energy rich flour loaded with fibre. Cornmeal prevents your blood sugar from shooting up and loaded with Zinc which is necessary for the formation of insulin.

 

Ragi/Nachni Flour (Finger Millet Flour) - Click To Shop

 Name: Ragi Flour
English Name: Finger Millet Flour
How Is It Made: Ragi Flour is made by soaking and making sprouted ragi then roasting to make fingermillet flour
Is It Gluten Free: Yes
Common Things Made From:

As an healthy alternative to wheat in flat bread and for ladoos, malpua and so on.

Religious Significance? Used in fasting festival in South Asia
What Does It Taste Like: Corn flour has an earthy, sweet taste similar to whole corn
Known Benefits: The millet ragi is an ancient grain. This means that the kinds of seeds used to make ragi have been around for a very long time and in most cases has not been altered or processed.

Loaded with calcium, Ragi is known to help control blood sugar in diabetics as well as helps in weight loss. It is also known to support healthier skin battle anemia. It is one of the very few natural sources of Vitamin D.

 

Rajgira/Rajgaro Atta (Amaranth Flour) - Click To Shop

 Name: Rajgira/Rajgaro Atta
English Name: Amaranth Flour
How Is It Made: Amaranth flour is made by grinding the seeds of the amaranth plant into a fine powder.
Is It Gluten Free: Yes
Common Things Made From:

As an healthy alternative to wheat in flat bread.

Religious Significance? Used in fasting festival in South Asia
What Does It Taste Like: Mild, sweet, and nutty seems to be the consensus amongst taste experts.
Known Benefits: Amaranth is a nutritious, gluten-free grain that provides plenty of fiber, protein and micronutrients. It has also been associated with a number of health benefits, including reduced inflammation, lower cholesterol levels and increased weight loss.

 

Chawal Ki Atta (Rice Flour) - Click To Shop

 Name: Chawal Ki Atta
English Name: Rice Flour
How Is It Made: It is milled flour made by grinding cooked and dehydrated kernels of long or short grain rice until it becomes the consistency of a powder or flour, often done using grain mills
Is It Gluten Free: Yes
Common Things Made From:

Idiyappam, Coating for Bhajiyas, Amboli, Neer Dosa, Khichu, Chawal Ki Roti, Chakli, Ribbon Sev, Uttapam.

Sweets like Modaks, Golpapdi

Religious Significance? N/A
What Does It Taste Like: White rice flour has a very neutral flavor that takes the flavour of whatever it is made with.
Known Benefits: Rice flour is rich in Calcium, Fibres, Choline (Great for fatty liver).

 

Bajri/Bajra Atta (Ground Millet Flour) - Click To Shop

 Name: Bajri/Bajra Atta
English Name: Ground Millet Flour
How Is It Made: Bajra flour is made from the small round grains of black millet, also called bajra. When the bajra is ripe and ready to be harvested, the plants are cut and tied in bundles and allowed to dry. The bundles are threshed to separate the grains. The grains are dried and then processed into flour.
Is It Gluten Free: Yes
Common Things Made From:

Healthy alternative to wheat for flat breads and beyond.

Religious Significance? N/A
What Does It Taste Like: It is grayish in color and has a nutty flavor
Known Benefits: Bajra flour is an excellent source of iron, protein, folic acid and fibre that keeps complex ailments like anemia, constipation, obesity in check and flushes out all toxins.

 

Dhokla Atta (Dhokla Flour) - Click To Shop

 Name: Dhokla Atta
English Name: Dhokla Flour
How Is It Made: Dhokla is a mixture flour often made from of Chickpeas, Rice, Lentils and Pigeon Peas 
Is It Gluten Free: Yes
Common Things Made From:

Dhokla is a vegetarian culinary dish that is native to the Indian state of Gujarat and parts of adjacent states. Although a Gujarati delicacy, it is also commonly served in other parts of India.

Religious Significance? N/A
What Does It Taste Like: Dhokla is both sweet and savory with a mild aftertaste of gram flour
Known Benefits: The ingredients of a dhokla are super rich in proteins. The besan base, that too in fermented form, works on increasing the bioavailability of nutrients like riboflavin, niacin, folic acid, thiamine, Vitamin K, and biotin

 

Kuttu Atta (Buckwheat Flour) - Click To Shop

 Name: Kuttu Atta
English Name: Buckwheat Flour
How Is It Made: Buckwheat flour is made by milling triangular buckwheat seeds into powder
Is It Gluten Free: Yes
Common Things Made From:

As a healthy alternative for flat breads

In western culture, it is known to be used for Pancakes, and even Pasta, or Japanese Soba

Religious Significance? Used in Fasting Festivals
What Does It Taste Like: The flour has a rich flavour which can be a little nutty. A little earthy, a little nutty, a little bitter
Known Benefits: Kuttu ka Atta helps in reducing inflammation and helps in improving coronary health by reducing the cholesterol (LDL) levels. Buckwheat has a compound called rutin, which is basically a type of phytonutrient and antioxidant, which helps balance blood pressure and reduce the cholesterol level.

 

Bhakri Atta (Coarse Milled Wheat Flour) - Click To Shop

 Name: Bhakri Atta
English Name: Coarse Milled Wheat Flour
How Is It Made: Coarse whole wheat flour refers to the wheat flour which is milled to a coarse texture. As compared to normal whole wheat flour, this flour is coarse in texture.
Is It Gluten Free: No
Common Things Made From:

Used to make thick Rotis and flat breads

Religious Significance? N/A
What Does It Taste Like: It tastes like wheat flour, just more coarse.
Known Benefits: whole wheat flour or Atta is a good source of complex carbohydrates, protein, fiber, vitamin B1, B3, B5, riboflavin and folate. It also has a good amount of calcium and iron.

 

Urad/Urid Atta (Urad Flour) - Click To Shop

 Name: Urad/Urid Atta
English Name: Urad/Urid Flour
How Is It Made: Urad Flour is made by grinding urad dal or skinned black gram lentils.
Is It Gluten Free: Yes
Common Things Made From:

Used as alternatives flour for Rotis and flat breads

Also used to make Vada, Dosa, murukku and pappadums.

Religious Significance? N/A
What Does It Taste Like: A characteristic mild nutty flavor that is slightly bitter.
Known Benefits: It is rich in protein, potassium calcium, iron, niacin, Thiamine, and riboflavin. Urad Flour is also an excellent source of dietary fiber, isoflavones, and vitamin B complex. There are many reasons why Urad should be consumed. It can aid in digestion, boost energy, improve skin health, and many others.

 

Singhara/Singhoda Atta (Water Chestnut Flour) - Click To Shop 

 Name: Singhara/Singhoda Atta
English Name: Water Chestnut Flour
How Is It Made: The flour is grounded from the dried ground water chestnuts. For preparing the flour, the nuts are peeled, boiled and finally crushed into flour.
Is It Gluten Free: Yes
Common Things Made From:

Used as alternatives flour for Rotis and flat breads

Also used in pancakes.

Religious Significance? Popularly used during fasting seasons.
What Does It Taste Like: It has a nutty, sweet flavour
Known Benefits: Is water chestnut flour healthy?
Powerhouse Of Antioxidants And Minerals

Water chestnut flour is loaded with vitamin B6, potassium (350 to 360 mg per half cup), copper, riboflavin, iodine and manganese. Iodine and manganese may check your thyroid problems, too.

 

Jawar/Jowar Atta (Sorghum Flour) - Click To Shop

 Name: Jawar Atta
English Name: Sorghum Flour
How Is It Made: Sorghum flour is finely ground from the whole grain kernel of sorghum
Is It Gluten Free: Yes
Common Things Made From:

Used as alternatives flour for Rotis and flat breads

Also used in pancakes.

Religious Significance? N/A
What Does It Taste Like: Sorghum has a mild, earthy flavor. Its texture and flavor is similar to wheat berries and the flour has been called out as being the most wheat-like gluten free flour.
Known Benefits:

Sorghum is an ancient grain and is a nutrient-packed grain that you can use in many ways. It's rich in vitamins and minerals like B vitamins, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, iron, and zinc. It's also an excellent source of fiber, antioxidants, and protein.

 

Red Jawar/Jowar Atta (Red Sorghum Flour) - Click To Shop

 Name: Red Jawar/Jowar Atta
English Name: Red Sorghum Flour
How Is It Made: Red Sorghum flour is finely ground from the whole grain kernel of sorghum
Is It Gluten Free: Yes
Common Things Made From:

Used as alternatives flour for Rotis and flat breads

Also used in pancakes.

Religious Significance? N/A
What Does It Taste Like: Sorghum has a mild, earthy flavor. Its texture and flavor is similar to wheat berries and the flour has been called out as being the most wheat-like gluten free flour.
Known Benefits:

Sorghum is an ancient grain and is a nutrient-packed grain that you can use in many ways. It's rich in vitamins and minerals like B vitamins, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, iron, and zinc. It's also an excellent source of fiber, antioxidants, and protein.

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Exploring Healthy Alternatives to Atta When Making Roti

You’re Old News, Atta Roti
Say Hello to Ragi, Sorghum & Barley Roti

Roti and Chappati are a staple served as part of most South Asian cuisine. When it comes to making roti, whole wheat atta is the go to ingredient that most of us think of. It was the same for me too, until I discovered that a lot of health conscious folk were starting to mix other flours when making their roti.  After trying this and being actually quite surprised at how tasty and healthy the alternatives were, I decided its best to do a write up introducing this to you and some helpful tips on making it work.

Sorghum Flour or Jowar

Sorghum roti or Jowar roti is a staple in the Indian states of Maharashtra, Gujarat and Karnataka. Sorghum is known for its antioxidant properties and reducing some forms of inflammation. It is packed with vitamins and minerals such as B vitamins, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, iron etc. It is low in fat and high in protein. Sorghum has quite a pleasant and slighty nutty taste, which made it surprisingly tasty!

Ragi Flour (Finger Millet Flour)

Ragi flour is an amazing alternative to atta and it is completely gluten free! That’s great news for our wheat-intolerant friends. Ragi flour has been a staple grain in South India for many years but its potency and benefits may have been taken for granted. It boasts great concentrations of minerals, protein and iron and it is a grain we want to boost our health and general well-being! Ragi Roti has an earthy taste that soaks up the flavour of the dish you pair it with, making it a great fit for curries.

Barley Flour or Jau

Barley flour is a close alternative to atta. It is also full of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, and high in fibre. Barley is subtly sweet and nutty, and a great alternative to try.

Make Sure You Are Treating Your Flours Right!

After some trial-and-errors and gathering advice from the one and only Ma, here are a few tips we should follow to ensure that roti made from Barley, Ragi or Sorghum are as soft and light as the Atta ones.

  • Ensure that the flour is finely ground. Coarse flour is not likely to give you the soft texture you are hoping for. Flours from Ma Ka Kitchen do just the trick!
  • Use hot water when making the dough. Boil water in a saucepan and reduce it to a simmer. Add the flour into the simmering water and stir the mixture until it becomes a soft dough. Cover the lid and let it cool for a few minutes before kneading.
  • As the dough tends to spread easily, you can cover the dough with baking paper an flatten with¬†your hand.
  • Don‚Äôt hesitate to add some high-quality ghee into the dough when cooking.
  • When it comes to Barley Flour, you may have to mix with some Atta to make it more pliable and suitable to your taste. Start off with half-and-half before increasing your ration of barley flour next time.

Enjoy your nutritious alternative roti today!

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A New Way Of Getting Delivery

I remember having a tea with my mother talking about the concept of an online South Asian grocery store that would deliver anywhere in Australia.  I remember finding out that over 70,000 Indians per year come to Australia on a regional Visa, and out in the regions, getting access to Spices, Pulses and general non-western groceries was very difficult, and even where it was available, the prices were atrocious.

Turns out it wasn't just South Asians, but people living a vegan/vegetarian life or those just interested at exploring a more ancient natural diet are just not getting access.  Even in metro areas, access to the local indian store is not always convenient, and in a busy world, making the trip isn't easy, and COVID made the whole thing safer to shop from home.

So that was all I needed to get started, right until I hit a major snag. It didn't seem to matter what delivery provider you go with, delivery of bulky goods are expensive anywhere... but out in regions, we are talking $40-50 per delivery expensive. Since we need to keep our margins tight to ensure value for Customers, we just couldn't subsidise it enough to make a difference. The very people we most wanted to have access to us, didn't.

That is until I got told a story of what people are doing in the regions at the moment.  Essentially, they would setup a WhatsApp group of friends in the area that are in need of groceries, and they will co-ordinate a large order.  Then they would have either an entrepreneurial person, or an unlucky family member, make the long drive to the nearest (overpriced!) Indian grocery store and make the purchases. Often the items weren't there, or different sizes were available to what was wanted, and then by the time you paid the driver, and did the logistics of it all, and figure out the dollars owed, it was quite the headache for everyone, only to do it again in a fortnight or month.

I loved the ingenuity.. The idea was solid, but the execution was super complex. So I sat down with the team at Ma Ka Kitchen, and we hatched up our own version of this, and I am soo excited to see it go live in Beta. I know this will get that access to people in regions, but also those in metro looking to save on delivery as a group.

We are calling it the group code: 

I'm too excited to not explain.  You can get a group of local friends, and one of you registers for a group code on Ma Ka Kitchen. We will then check out your address and email you a code, and it will have the group spend you need to do to get free delivery, as well as discounted delivery prices if you can't reach that number. 

You share the code with your friends and group members, and they can all go and shop at MKK as often as they like until the day before you asked for us to send your group order to you. They pay as they buy, and we will put aside all orders for despatch on the day you asked for it to be sent.   On the day of despatch, we collate all the orders for the group and send it together to your nominated address, and if you've hit your minimum spend, it is totally free!

We can't wait for you to use it and provide us feedback. We have already piloted it with a few groups and got some amazingly positive feedback! 

Alot of effort has gone in to setting up the concept, and we hope it shows just how much we want to get Ma Ka Kitchen accessible by All Australians, Anywhere!

Thank you all again for your support. 

Ma Ka Family

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Vegan Sorghum Pancakes that Satisfy The Kids!

It was a chilly Sunday morning.¬† I was enjoying my beautiful, well-deserved slumber when it was disrupted by the kids jumping into our bed! They were apparently hungry (No, the actual words used were ‚ÄúMummy, I am STARVING!‚ÄĚ) and demanded pancakes for breakfast.¬†

Looking at what I had in the kitchen, I spotted some over-ripe bananas that had not made it to the kids’ school lunches over the week. Ah ha! That gave me an idea. I announced to the kids that THEY would be making healthy and super yummy pancakes with chocolate chips. They were ecstatic!

Getting the Kids Involved

I love using sorghum flour in pancakes because of its mildly sweet and nutty flavour. Compared to other gluten-free flours, it is smoother, less gritty and it makes fluffier pancakes. It is also packed full of fibre, protein, vitamin B and minerals such as magnesium, potassium, phosphorous, iron and zinc. In this recipe, I added banana, oats and my favourite coconut for extra comfort and wholesomeness. It was so easy to make that the kids could measure, add and stir the ingredients together. As a treat, I added chocolate melts (you can use chocolate chips but I used chocolate melts because I ran out of chips) when cooking them. 

By the time we finished cooking, the beautiful aromas of cinnamon, coconut, oats and banana had filled the entire house and we were salivating. The family lapped up every single crumb of the pancakes and wanted more! All that deliciousness, joy and fun, and not an ounce of guilt from clean, healthy food!

Here's my recipe for these delicious, nutritious sorghum pancakes!

The Final Product!

 

Banana Oatmeal Coconut & Choc Chips Sorghum Pancakes

¬Ĺ cup sorghum flour

¬Ĺ cup rolled oats

2 teaspoons baking powder

¬ľ cup desiccated coconut

2 teaspoons honey (or any sweetener of your liking)

¬Ĺ teaspoon cinnamon powder

2 medium over ripe bananas, mashed

¬Ĺ cup almond milk (or any milk of your liking)

¬Ĺ cup chocolate chips or melts (optional)*

*Use dairy free chocolate chips for vegan pancakes

Instructions

Mix all the ingredients except for chocolate chips in a bowl. Mix well with a spatula.

Heat the pan to medium heat. Lightly grease pan with oil of your choice.

Scoop ¬Ĺ cup of pancake batter on to heated pan. Add chocolate chips (optional) and push them into gently to embed the chips into the pancake.

When small bubbles form, flip the pancake over and cook for approximately 20 seconds before removing to a plate.

Serve with fresh fruits, maple syrup or honey.

 

 

 

 

 

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Shortcut Pani Puri Party!

Shortcut Pani Puri Party!

Winter is here and as such, that craving for a session of Pani Puri, Chaat and Pakora is running strong.  Our friends at Aachi have told us they have made it very easy to get that spicy-crunchy treat in minutes, and when its on a 2 for 1 special and at $3.21 at Ma Ka Kitchen, we just had to take it for a spin! (Click here to buy)

So we decided to pick up the 2 for 1 Aachi Pani Puri pack, and were keen to bust it open.  So here we go!

The packaging has instructions at the back that makes it really easy, and when you open it, they even have a quick reference on what to do on the packs itself. It very quickly took the stress away when we laid it out.

 

 

So we can break this down in the way they did.

 

Pack 1 - Pani Puri Pellets

So each pack of Pani Puri Pellets has around 24 Puris ready to fry, and plan for a few to break or not fry, so better to say a pack gets you 20 beautiful Puris. So 2 packs punches out 40 and that will feed 4-5 people as a meal and 7-10 people as a snack. The puris are flat and nice and firm to feel. 

 

 

What was amazing is how simple the frying process was to get that "Phooly" Puri! Don't believe it? Check this out! And this was my first time deep frying! I used Vegetable Oil but some suggest Canola Oil or others. I suspect its all fine.

 

 By the end, most of ours fried up real nice, but when I got lazy and put too many in, and they stuck together, the result was a flat puri. So.... that's on me. But it was a professional result, even Ma herself couldn't fault it!

 

 Pack 2 - Tamarind Chutney

This one was quite easy. Simply cut open the pack and squeeze it out into a bowl.  It may not look nice, but it was fantastic on the taste. As you can see below, it was quite thick, and whilst that is fine, we found adding a bit of water and stirring made the consistency better to pour into your puri.

 

 Pack 3 - Mint Chutney Paste (The Pani!).

This was also easy - just dump out the paste into a bowl and add 250ml of water per pack. We added a wee bit more water to make it less intense, but this is an individual preference. 

Pack 4 - Spice Kit for the potatoes

So a bit of work is required for this, but nothing you can't knock out in minutes (or more for boiling the potatoes!).

Prep for this is pretty straight forward. Chop an Onion and say 2 potatoes per pack (They aren't part of the pack!), and boil the potatoes (We were using 2 packs). Red onion is best, but we just used ordinary ones as we forgot.  We used the Microwave to Boil the potatoes. Simply stab the potatoes with a fork a few times all around, and then around 2 sets of 8 minute blasts in our microwave and we were ready to mash.  Then it was simply a matter of mixing the onions with the potatoes, and throwing the spice mix in. 

The spice mix was too spicy for us, we would absolutely suggest 3/4 packet per set and not the full as it would have made it better for our taste.  But I do know golgoppa savants love their heat, so leave that to you. Just go slow adding it!

The end result is a a nice mix waiting for you. If we were planners, we'd add coriander on top as well as some Sev, and would've had yoghurt as well!

 

 

The End Result

So the longest time was spent boiling potatoes and waiting for the oil to heat up, so this was definitely a very fast make, and the result was startingly good. We were amazed at how crunchy the puri was, how "real" the spices were, and how fast! Aachi has done some magic here.... Ma approved.

 

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Small Party With No Chef

Meet my son.. He recently turned 8, and he is super excited about it! 

Family is important to us, and we always have our Brisbane family get together on any of our kids birthdays. My mother takes charge of the food, it is always Indian, and its always delicious.

But at the ripe age of 37, I figured it was about time I try my hand at adulting, and see what I could create if I took charge of things. Oh, by the way, I don't really cook... at all.

This is what I achieved - amateur style.

Snacks.

Let's be real, there ain't no way I was going to make snacks from scratch. The thought of Fryums did occur to me, but in the end, I just went for Bikanos' range of snacks and finished it off with my guilty pleasure, imli candy. 

All I did was open the bags and pour them in a serving tray, and voila! I was pretty surprised at how much 150g actually translates on the plate. I was able to refill a few times.

Top Left:  I opted for Marble Cookies which was a lovely tea dipper and looked great too.
Top Middle:  I wanted a spicy kick and and went with the Navratan Mix. 
Top Right: This was the Aam Candy (Mango), and it was gone quick with the kids.
Middle:  Mini Samosas (Spicier then I thought!) stood out in the middle.
Bottom Left:  The classic Imli Candy didn't do it for the kids, but the adults loved the nostalgia, and I ate more then I care to admit. 
Bottom Middle:  The classic salty Moong Daal had the kids tricked into getting some great protein.
Bottom Right: I went with Patisa which is not quite as flaky as Soan Papdi, making it easier to manage, yet still rich and beautiful on the palette.

Mains

For the mains, I did the prep the day before. I decided to shoot for two things, one was to make rajma, and the other was to get a bunch of chicken legs and wings and make tandoori, the easy way.

Tandoori

The ingredients couldn't be easier - I just picked up a jar of the Swad Tandoori Paste and that was it!

 

I went to the butcher picked up Chicken wings and drumsticks. With the drumsticks, I peeled the skin off. Then I sliced a few deep cuts into the meat which I read allows the sauce to really get into the meat. After that, I simply coated the chicken with the paste liberally. There was actually around 1/4 of the bottle left when I was done, so certainly got my moneys worth there!

Once done, I wrapped it up and put it in the fridge overnight to let it marinate.  The next day - it was thrown in the oven, 180 degrees, 30-45 minutes, and it was ready to go!  My mother actually got some yoghurt to go with it, and that was a great touch.  Now the reason it doesn't have that tandoori colour is the paste was made without artificial colours or flavours, so a good thing!

 

 

The tandoori chicken was very flavoursome and the sauce delivered that turmeric flavour you want. The best part being a kids party was that it was not spicy at all, which made it perfect for the kids. I would definitely add some Chilli Powder for adults this if you need that kick.

Rajma & Rice

I won't pretend I did this solo, my Mother did get involved here, but only as an advisor, I swear!  With the rajma, we soaked the kidney beans overnight in water, and then the next day was ready to cook.

This isn't a recipe blog, so I won't go into detail, but Onion, Ginger Garlic Paste, Canned Tomatoes, Curry Powder, Garam Masala and ofcourse, Rajma were used and put together in a pressure cooker to create the dish.

Now - I must be honest, I am a rice amateur, and always just went for basmati. But my mother gave me a good lecture on the fact that basmati really was for the wealthy back in the day, and most people made do with a wide array of smaller grain rices', and they have their own flavour and joy. 

I decided to go with a Masoori Rice instead of Basmati, and we cooked that up in a rice cooker. Mum "suggested" we should add some Cardamom and Clove to the rice by just doing it when I turned away, and I was happy to take credit for the beautiful flavour that resulted.

 

 

With that done, dinner was ready! 

As my son loves Chess, we set the table with black and white plates, put him at the centre, and we were ready to eat.

 

 

The Chicken was definitely the hit of the show, and it was quite an enjoyable evening! Although it lacked the variety and finesse of my mother spreads, I certainly was proud of the result, and thanks to some clever purchases, it was pretty easy to get a decent Indian meal that was good enough to satisfy Indian bellies, both old and young.

After we finished dinner and started to slow down, we ended the meal with the memories of street paan from India. This is a very common digestive post meals in India, and something that is a source of much nostalgia here for us. A great way to end the night!

 

 

  

Signing out.

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BRU Coffee - the most popular Coffee you didn't know!

Here is something you wouldn't know if you haven't grown up in India, but Bru Coffee is the second largest brand of Filtered coffee in India, consumed by up to 600 Million people as their daily hit before, during and after work!

So why don't you know about this?  Well,  it isn't exported here in Australia or really anywhere Western at scale, making it a quite a popular secret. The thing that makes BRU different is that it is a mix of 53% Coffee and 47% Chicory, and until this moment, I had no idea Chicory was a thing.

Turns out Chicory is a beautiful flowering plant, and its roots are used to make Chicory Coffee, which has a similar taste to Coffee, but without the Caffeine.

The reason Chicory is worth looking into is that it has inulin fiber, manganese, and vitamin B6, which helps the gut biome greatly, and has a mild laxative effect, which will help your morning "post coffee" activities as well.  So less Caffeine, better for your body and low cost - sounds pretty great!

But how does it taste? and can it really replace the most coveted drink of the day. I decided to find out by having it everyday and seeing if I would convert.

I didn't have a coffee plunger, but that's okay, I simply followed the instructions - boiled 50ml of water, added the Bru Coffee (2 Teaspoons), and let it sit for 10-12 minutes, and then strained the Coffee into hot milk to my liking. You can use whatever milk you like or water (like any coffee), I stuck with Cows milk.

 

So the taste? First and foremost, if you are the type of person that needs the finest coffee grains from the back of an Asian Palm Civet to be satisfied, then this product isn't for you, and neither would any instant/filter coffee. But for those that are okay with Nescafe, this is definitely worth looking at.  If you use the recommended number of teaspoons, you don't get that rich Coffee flavour profile you would be used to, but instead you get this earthy flavour as you sip, and then this after taste of Coffee that lingers on. I found adding an extra teaspoon gave me a stronger after taste and flavour profile that I enjoyed more.

After getting my quantity right, I had no issues transitioning and I actually grew quite fond of that earthy taste. If you are looking to cut down on the Caffeine intake whilst still getting a fix, this is a really good substitute.  Finally, as I age, I am finding myself more interested in natural things I can do to improve my insides, and this seems to help as well.

So at least for me, I am a convert for my daily cup at home, and I suspect this will grow in demand in the Western part of the world real soon. 

Cheers All!

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