Thursday, August 16, 2007

Muthiya (Steamed dumplings)

Muthiya is a very famous Gujarati recipe, but slowly this fame has transcended the borders of western India and there is absolutely no one who'd say that they do not enjoy this dish. With Spinach(Palak) and Bottlegourd(Lauki) and Rice as its main ingredients, its as nutritious as delicious. The rice gives the desired softness, the veggies make it healthy, and the flours form the glue that holds everything together. This is my all-time favourite recipe, and my mom cooks them the best!! We generally consume a lot of chapatis and wheat products, while rice is treated as a secondary produce in Gujarat. But I used to wait for my mom to make Muthiyas out of the rice leftover from last night, and when she packed them in my "tiffin box" (lunch box) they were as famous with my friends at school, as they were with ME!!!! I dedicate this recipe to my loving mom....all my culinary skills - I owe to her!

4 tbsp whole wheat flour (gehun ka atta)
2 tbsp Bengal gram flour (besan)
2 tbsp semolina (rawa) (optional)
1 cup cooked rice
1/2 cup spinach leaves-chopped
1/2 cup grated bottle-gourd (lauki)
1/4 cup fenugreek leaves (methi)- chopped
1 tsp green chilli-ginger paste
1 tsp garlic paste
1/4 tsp pepper powder
1/4 tsp cumin seeds (jeera ) and mustard seeds
1/2 tsp baking powder or soda
3 tbsp oil
2 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp chopped coriander
salt and sugar- to taste
2 tbsp grated coconut-for garnishing

In a bowl, combine the cooked rice,fenugreek and spinach leaves. Sprinkle salt to taste, mix it well and add the bottle-gourd after squeezing out all the liquid. Add all the flours and semolina, ginger-garlic-chilli paste, sugar and baking powder and knead into a soft dough, using water. Apply a little oil on your hands and divide the mixture into 2-3 parts. Then roll them into cylindrical shapes and place in a steamer. You can use a pressure cooker without the whistle. Insert a knife after 20 mins and see that it comes out clean, meaning its cooked. Let it cool a little and slice each roll into thin oval-shaped pieces.

Heat oil in a pan, add the cumin and mustard seeds. When they start spluttering, add the cooked muthiya pieces and saute for 5 mins. Garnish with chopped coriander and grated coconut. Serve the hot Muthiyas with Indian Chai or Green chutney.

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