Savoury Besan Squares/ Pithlyachaya vadya
This is not a diatribe against two minute noodles, certainly not against any particular brand of them! They are a food of convenience and the masala is quite tasty - I use the sachets in other dishes at times. My piece only talks about the message that is sent through the ads that two minute noodles are an acceptable form of routine after school or anytime snack!
And they take no longer than two minutes to polish!
1 small onion, chopped
½ cup finely chopped cauliflower leaves or any other greens (optional)
2 tbsp oil
½ tsp mustard seeds
½ tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp finely chopped green chili (or more)
½ tsp turmeric
A pinch of hing
1 tsp lemon juice (optional)
Salt to taste
About 2 cups water
1 tbsp chopped coriander
Heat oil in a heavy bottomed pan and add the mustard seeds and cumin seeds. When the seeds splutter add the onions and chopped green chillies. Sauté the onion a bit and then add the turmeric and hing. Add the chopped leafy greens if using. Then add 1 ½ cups water and allow to boil. Mix the besan with a little water into a not very smooth paste. If some lumps remain, it’s alright. It only adds to the texture of the vadis. Add the besan paste to the boiling water and start mixing vigorously. Beware of burns as the pithla starts spitting up like lava. Add the rest of the ingredients and cook the mixture till it becomes translucent and gathers in a ball. At this point, you will see white steam emanating from the pithla. Remove the pithla from the heat and pop the ball onto the greased plate or tray and spread it evenly to form a slab about 1 ½ cms thick. Sprinkle grated coconut and chopped coriander and press them lightly into the cake. Allow to cool completely and cut into squares or diamonds.
This versatile dish can sit jauntily on the side of a traditional and ceremonial full thali, or make a quick and filling low fat and high protein snack. It stays well for a few days in the fridge.
It serves well as a canapé base, too!
Leftovers, if any, can be dunked into a tomato gravy to make a gattey ki subzi, into a yoghurt based gravy or even a green - coriander stem curry!
This is my entry to Jagruti's Know Your Flour Round Up!