Wednesday 11 March 2009

KATACHI AMTI, WHEAT PURAN POLI & RANGA PANCHAMI

WISH ONE AND ALL A HAPPY HOLI


KATACHI AMTI, WHEAT PURAN POLI & RANGA PANCHAMI

The last time I made Puran Poli was during Ganesh Chaturthi and then I had promised to share with everyone the recipe of Katachi Amti. This is a by-product of Puran poli and hence becomes as precious as the main dish. Maharashtrians make Puran poli on Holi day. I would like to share with you’ll about Holi in Maharashtra.

Holi In Maharashtra

Holi is known as Shimga or Rangpanchami in Maharashtra. People of Maharashtra have their own grand style of celebrating Holi. The day they celebrate with colors is known as Ranga Panchami and comes five days after Phalgun Poornima.

One day before Ranga Panchami, a huge bonfire is made and an effigy of Holika with child Prahlad in her lap is kept on the logs. Usually, Holika's effigy is made of combustible materials, whereas, Prahlad's effigy is made of non-combustible one. Almost 40 days before the Holi Festival. People go on throwing twigs, dried leaves, branches of trees left through the winter besides any other combustible material they can spare, on to that log which gradually grows into a sizable heap.

On the day of Holika Dahan which usually falls on the night of Phalguna Purnima, the effigy is set alight. Next morning the ashes from the bonfire are collected as prasad and smeared on the limbs of the body. If spared by the fire coconuts are also collected and eaten.

Metaphorically though, the fire is meant to signify the destruction of evil - the burning of the 'Holika' - a mythological character and the triumph of good as symbolized by Prahlad. However, the heat from the fire also depicts that winter is behind and the hot summer days are ahead.

Dhuli Vandan, is an important festival in Maharashtra and it coincides with the Holi festival. It is celebrated on the day after Holika Dahan in Phalguna month. The festival is of great importance to farmers and agriculturalists. The ashes of Holika burned on the previous night and soil are worshipped by the farmers for a good harvest. In 2009, the date of Dhulivandan is March 11.

Dhuli Vandan is observed in Maharashtra when the rest of the country plays holi with colors. Nowadays, Dhulivandan in its strict traditional sense is limited to rural areas. In cities most people play Holi with colors on the day.

Historic significance of Holi in Maharashtra

During the Maratha regime this festival was celebrated with great pomp and grandeur. It was on a Holi festival day that five-year-old Jijabhai, daughter of Lakhooji Jadhav innocently splashed coloured water and threw gulal on young Shahaji, son of Malajirao Bhowale. Taking it as an auspicious event, the two children's engagement was announced that very day. Soon they were married. Later, Jijabhai gave birth to Shivaji, the founder of great Maratha empire.

Festival and Food

Festivals are always marked with good food and Maharashtrians usually make Puran Poli Besides people drink sugarcane juice and feed children with watermelons that are in season.


KATACHI AAMTI

As promised in my previous post on Puran Poli during Ganesh Chaturthi, I am blogging here the recipe of katachi aamti. Katachi Aamti is very popular in my marital home at Pune. They love it so much that they drink little bowls(vatis) full of it. The amti has a hot-sweet taste. I don’t like the sweet taste though, so I add less jaggery, so that the jaggery just enhances the flavor but doesn’t sweeten my amti too much. Katachi Amti is prepared using the water from the chana dal that is boiled for preparing the puran. Yo’s Kaku (Father’s brother’s wife) who lives in Barshi, Solapur, prepares this with lot of enthusiasm and love. She was telling me that it is known as “yelavni” in the solapur region. I think what changes the dynamics of the taste to this amti is using chana dal water.I didn’t use goda masala in my amti as I didn’t have it and I feel that goda masala has a very strong flavor which doesn’t suit my palate too much, but the original recipe has goda masala.

Ingredients

Katache Pani – 1 and ½ cups

Mashed Chana Dal – 1 ½ tbsps

Mustard seeds - 1 tsp

Cumin Seeds - 3 tsps

Cinnamon - 1 piece

Bay leaves - 2

Curry leaves -8-10

Garam Masala - 2 tsps

Goda Masala – 2 tsps (optional)

Red Chilli Powder – 2 tsps

Asafetida - a pinch

Tamarind paste - ½ tsp

Grated Jaggery – 1 tsp

Grated coconut - 3 tbsps

Salt as per taste

Coriander leaves for garnish

Oil – 1 tbsp

Method

Take 2 teaspoons of Cumin seeds and dry roast it till it crackles. Keep aside. Now dry roast 3 tablespoons of grated coconut and roast until faint pink color and aromatic. Now run both in a blender to make a fine paste. Keep aside.

In a wok, add oil, when its hot, add bay leaves, cinnamon stick, then add mustard seeds and cumin seeds, when the mustard seeds start to crackle add in the curry leaves to it, then add a pinch of asafetida, now pour the katache pani (water from the boiled chana dal), add the mashed dal, then add, red chili powder, garam masala, goda masala, tamarind, jaggery, and salt to it. Bring this to boil and then add coconut paste. Boil for some time, add water if it’s too thick. Mix well and let it boil for about 10 minutes.

Garnish with freshly chopped coriander and serve hot with puran poli.


WHEAT PURAN POLI

This is the same recipe as blogged before, the only difference being that the refined flour has been replaced with wheat flour. Wheat is a healthy option and doesn’t alter the taste too much and the Puran poli tastes yummy anyways.

Ingredients

Bengal gram (chana dal) - 2 cups,

Jaggery - 2 cups

Wheat flour -2 cups

Oil - 3 tbsp

Salt – ½ tsp

Cardamom powder -1 tsp

Nutmeg powder 1/4th tsp

Dry ginger powder(soonth) -1/4th tsp

Ghee as required

Method

Grate the jaggery, keep aside. Soak the Bengal gram for about 2-3 hours. Then add water enough to immerse the dal completely and a bit on top. Cook chana dal in a pressure cooker for 5 whistles till it turns soft. Drain out excess water until the dal is absolutely dry. You can retain this water to make Katachi Amti (I will blog this recipe later). Mash the chana dal into a paste. In a wok, Add one tablespoon of ghee, then add the cardamom powder, nutmeg powder and dry ginger powder(soonth), Now add the grated jaggery, when the grated jaggery melts, add the chana dal paste and blend both well, and cook further. You will notice that the mix has become watery, which scared me out of my wites, thinking that this attempt is going to fail too. So I urgently called my mother-in-law in Pune and asked her what to do, she said don’t worry, it is like that, “Don’t cook for too long in the wok, the chana dal paste will harden and you don’t want it to get hard. She said, immediately switch off the gas and wait for the mix to cool down, then put it in the mixie and blend twice till you see it is completely mixed up, this mix, we must add in the wok and cook it on a low flame till it comes to a dough like consistency, which happens very soon, like 2-3 minutes time. Once you see it has come to a dough like consistency put off the gas and Allow the mix to cool so you can make balls out of the mixture. Make 20 balls out of it and keep aside

Mix wheat flour, a pinch of salt, oil and water and knead the dough.

The dough will be very soft and sticky dough. Keep this aside for about half an hour till it sets. Then knead again, by punching it and folding it. You can remove all your frustrations on the dough…Imagine the joys of cooking….

Knead well and divide the dough into 20 equal portions.

With greased palms, take one portion of the dough and flatten it into a disc of the size of the palm. Place a ball of "chana jaggery" paste in the centre and fold the disc from all sides to cover the paste completely.

On a well-floured board, gently roll out each poli with the help of a rolling pin into a 6 inches disc. This can get tricky as the paste does try to slide out. Use a little flour if that happens.

Roast each poli on a hot, dry girdle.Add a teaspoon of ghee around the poli , once you see some spots on the backside flip over, you will see your Puran polis puff up. Once done, Remove on a plate. Serve hot with a dollop of ghee or a bowl of warm milk and with steaming hot Katachi Amti.


I would also like to send Wheat Puran Polis and Katachi Amti to Purva of "Purva's Dawat" for "Festive Food-Holi" event.


Wheat Puran Polis, go to Roma of "Roma's space", who is guest hosting "JFI-Wheat" this month, an event started by Indira.





I would also like to send this to PJ’s Tasty Bites for Toddlers event

9 comments :

sowmya said...

Thanks for the recipe of aamti..want to try this combo soon..

Asha said...

Wonderful post with interesting stories, Sukanya. I didn't know lot about Holi, now I do. Thanks girl! :)

Amti and Poli are so delicious, like the Amti, will try!

Usha said...

Amti and poli look wonderful, I have never tried amti with poli, will try !

Cham said...

Very interesting ur post related to Sivaji! Hope u had a wonderful Holi and Love the wheat puran poli!

Purva Desai said...

Katachi Amti and Puran Poli is a must dish during Holi....
They both look mouth watering...
Thank you for the yummy entries

romaspace said...

hi, never seen a puran poli made of wheat. Thanks for sharing.

Priti said...

Wonderful treat for Holi...looks yummy..Please collect your award from my blog

SriLekha said...

looks delicious!
do visit my blog when u find time and join in the cookies event going in my blog!

Rajee said...

Nice combo.I came to know from wheat event

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