Category Archives: Brunch

Dal Pakwaan

Dal Pakwaan

Dal Pakwan is a sindhi breakfast. It is crispy puris made of all purpose flour (maida) and topped with chana dal mixed with onion, tomato, sweet and spicy chutneys and lots of fresh coriander. I don’t know its Rajasthan connection but I remember eating it in Ajmer where it is sold as a street food. This might not be the most authentic version of dal pakwan as I have made modifications for taste and presentation.

Pakwaan

Traditionally pakwan is a big circle shaped crispy puri with the topping of dal. I wanted to make bite sized snacks which are easier to eat so I made them in different shapes like taco shell, canapé, and also in square shape for the ease of serving and eating. I also substituted half of all purpose flour for whole wheat flour. You can add any herbs to the pakwan dough to add a flavor to the puris. Remember to poke the puris with a fork before frying. You can also use this dough to make canapés to fill with dal or any other savory filling.

dal pakwan toppings

For the dal too, I have added mung dal and toor dal to the recipe as suggested by a friend from Jaipur where it is a popular dish. It turned out healthier and tastier. You can also add deseeded and finely chopped cucumber to the topping. Chaat masala also adds to the taste.

Remember to keep the dal very thick. Mix the tomato onion mix just before serving and serve immediately to avoid the snack getting soggy.

Dal Pakwaan

Ingredients

Serves 4-5

For Pakwan

  • ½ cup all purpose flour (maida)
  • ½ cup whole wheat flour (aata)
  • 1 tsp pepper powder
  • ½ tsp carom seeds (ajwain)
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • Salt to taste
  • Oil to fry

For Dal

  • ¼ cup split green gram (mung dal)
  • ¼ cup split pigeon peas (toor dal)
  • ¼ cup Bengal gram (chana dal)
  • ¼ tsp asafoetida (heeng)
  • ¼ tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • 1 tomato finely chopped
  • 2 green chillies finely chopped
  • 1 tsp roasted cumin powder
  • Few pinches rock salt
  • Few tea spoons lime juice
  • Few tbsp fresh coriander finely chopped
  • Few tbsp sweet chutney
  • Few tbsp mint chutney

Recipe

For the Pakwan

Mix together the flours, black pepper powder, ajwain, 2 tbsp oil, salt, and little water to make stiff dough. Cover and keep aside for 10-15 mins. Knead again and divide into equal number of portions. Roll and cut each portion into a shape of your choice. Poke with a fork at 2-3 places and deep fry in hot oil until its crisp.

Pakwan is usually big and circle shaped. I wanted to make bite sized snack so I cut them in small 3 inch circles and squares.

For dal

Wash and soak the dals for 1 hour. Pressure cook with salt, turmeric and asafoetida till the dals are cooked (2-3 whistles). Do NOT add too much water. The dal needs to be fairly thick. Once the pressure is released, open the cooker and mix the dal lightly and keep aside.

In a bowl, mix together chopped onions, tomatoes, green chillies, roasted jeera powder, rock salt and little lime juice.

Just before serving, add the onion tomato mix to the dal and put it on the pakwan. Top it with mint chutney and sweet chutney as per taste. Garnish with lots of coriander. Serve immediately.

 

Egg less Spanakopita (Greek Spinach Pie)

Spanakopita

Spanakopita is a type of spinach pie made with filo/phyllo pastry, spinach, and feta cheese. Crispy phyllo pastry with melt in mouth spinach filling is one of the best Greek dishes I have tasted. Being a vegetarian in a foreign country can be a tough thing but you also get to try vegetarian dishes from different cultures. I had some wonderful Greek friends who modified their dishes for my no egg diet and this is one of them.

Phyllo Pastry Sheets

This is a very simple dish with very few ingredients. Fresh spinach leaves, fresh paneer, and Feta cheese mixed with basic spices like salt and pepper make a wonderful melt in mouth filling. Try to make fresh paneer for the filling and you will not even realize the absence of egg in the filling. Curdle the milk and strain it using a muslin cloth. Hang it for an hour or  till all the water is drained out and you have fresh crumbly paneer ready. You can also use ricotta cheese. Feta cheese by itself is very salty so be careful with salt in the filling.

ingredients for Spanakopita

Make sure the oven is preheated and keep checking the pastry. Don’t let it get too brown or it will taste bitter. Traditionally it is brushed with butter but olive oil works just fine too. Spankopita can be eaten warm or cold.

Spanakopita/Spinach Pie

Ingredients

Makes 12 pieces

  • 2 cups spinach washed and finely chopped
  • ½ cup feta cheese crumbled
  • ¼ cup ricotta cheese or fresh paneer
  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • 3-4 cloves garlic finely chopped
  • 8 phyllo pastry sheets
  • 1 green chilli
  • ¼ tsp black pepper powder
  • Salt to taste
  • Olive oil/butter to brush (appx 3-4 tbsp)

Recipe

Feta cheese is very salty. Always taste the filling and add the salt in the end when using feta cheese in any dish.

Defrost or thaw the phyllo sheets. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celsius. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a pan. Add chopped garlic and sauté. Add chopped green chillies and onions and cook for 1-2 mins. Add chopped spinach and mix well. Cook for 2-3 minutes or until the spinach is wilted. Remove from heat and transfer to a mixing bowl. Add the crumbled feta cheese, crumbled ricotta/paneer, and pepper powder. Mix well and check for seasoning. Add salt now if required.

Take an 8 inch baking dish. Brush olive oil or butter at the base and layer a phyllo sheet to cover the pan. Brush some oil/butter on this sheet and layer one more sheet. Repeat this for two more sheets. Now add the spinach mixture and spread evenly. Cover the spinach filling with a phyllo sheet and brush oil/butter. Add 3 more sheets in the same pattern. Brush the top sheet with oil/butter again and put the baking dish in the preheated oven for 20-25 mins. The top should be golden and filling should be warm. Let the dish cool down for 5-10 minutes before cutting to make pieces.

Cut in squares and serve.