Saturday, February 23, 2013

Back To The Kitchen

It's been 50 days to be specific since this blog saw the light of day; and my cooking has been more intermittent than ever all this while. What have I been up to? Mostly been buried under piles of work and other commitments. But things are starting to taper off (for now =/) and I'm back in the kitchen cooking hearty meals every night. Ah, it feels so good to be eating fresh meals and experimenting with different foods again!

One of the things I like to try is substituting ingredients in traditional Indian recipes with the groceries available here. We have a steady supply of zucchinis all year around and I try to use it in as many ways as I can - in parathas, cutlets (the Indian kind ;), or sambar. Zucchini lends itself to any flavor combination since it doesn't have any strong taste on its own. Yesterday, I used zucchini in a recipe that calls for cucumber - savory Ghavan. Ghavan is a Maharashtrian style instant Dosa commonly prepared in the coastal region of Konkan. It's a popular breakfast/brunch item that can be made sweet or savory. My mom always made both varieties at the same time since I preferred the sweet version while my sister liked the savory kind. But the savory ghavans are much quicker to make. They are simple crepes made with a basic batter of rice flour and yogurt/buttermilk. My grandma used to add grated cucumber for some body and texture in the savory ghavans. Zucchini seemed like a logical choice to replace cucumbers and they worked out perfectly. Plus a dose of nutritional veggies never hurts!

Zucchini Ghavan (Maharashtrian Style Instant Dosa)

3/4 Cup grated zucchini
1 1/2 Cups rice flour
1 Cup buttermilk or 1/2 cup yogurt thinned with water
1 Large green chili (or more if you like) - chopped
Handful of cilantro - chopped
Salt to taste
Oil for greasing the pan

  • Combine rice flour and buttermilk well until all the lumps dissolve.
  • Add zucchini, chopped chili, chopped cilantro and salt to taste and mix well. The batter should not be too runny or too thick - somewhat like dosa batter. You can add some water to get the right consistency. Let the batter sit for 15-20 mins. 
  • Heat a pan on medium-high flame. Drizzle a little bit of oil, pour a ladleful of batter and spread in a circular motion to make a crepe slightly thicker than dosa. 
  • Cover the pan and let the ghavan cook on one side for a couple of mins until golden brown. Remove cover and cook the ghavan on the other side the same way. 

I made my favorite peanut-garlic chutney to go with these (recipe will be up soon) yummy ghavans. But a simple coconut chutney or cilantro chutney is perfect.


Priyanka said...

I always liked the savory Ghavan than the sweet ones. :) Kolhapuri 'hot and spicy' tooth maybe. The idea of replacing cucumbers with Zucchinis is awesome. Such a simple and delicious recipe! Definitely trying it soon. Maybe I'll add some grated carrots too!

Snehal said...

Haha..I have not one, but 32 sweet teeth :D. Yes, this one takes it home when it comes to simplicity. Carrots would be perfect!

Snehal said...

Haha..I have not one, but 32 sweet teeth :D. Yes, this one takes it home when it comes to simplicity. Carrots would be perfect!


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