Apr 23, 2011

Raj Conito - Arusuvai Friendship Season 2 Recipe


Arusuvai chain   Arusuvai friendship chain season II is here. Hurrah to Sayantani for reviving it. This friendship chain was kick started by Lathamma and Srivalli and Bharthi took it forward.

I received my mystery parcel from Jayashree. Thank you very much, Jayashree for the lovely hand written note and the very apt book on baking. The mystery ingredient was a pouch of flour. I had to rack my brains to find the mystery ingredient. Finally it turned out to be  Rajgira flour / Amaranth flour. I was very eager to create a recipe with this flour as I have not used it in my cookery so far. Upon searching for recipes with Rajgira in the internet, I came across several ‘farali’ (recipes used during religious fasts) recipes in the Indian cuisine and several Mexican dishes too! That’s when my brain started whizzing. So here is a recipe which I created exclusively for the Arusuvai chain.

If I have managed to arouse your curiosity about the strange title, I’m happy. This dish has to be the ultimate product of my fevered imagination… I did not want the usual roti /puri recipes. As if on cue, my daughter walked in complaining that I have not treated her in a long time to her favourite version of pizza – conizza. So a cone base, fillings, burritos ( from Mexican cuisine) – all of them swam around in my head until I came up with this potpourri. The result is here for all – please do give me your feedback on the recipe.

At a recent meet of the Indian Dietetic Association, Bangalore Chapter, Rajgira and several other millets took centre stage. Nutritionists are eager to promote the use of millets in urban diets. By creating a fun, glamorous, and healthy recipe using an age –old ingredient, I hope to do my bit to promote use of such millets in our urban diets replete with polished cereals and other low fibre foods. Without further ado, here is how you can make it too…

You needFlours, salt and chilli powder

For roti cones  

  1. Rajgira flour – 1 cup
  2. Whole wheat flour – 1 cup
  3. Salt – 1/2 tsp
  4. Red chilli powder – 1/4 tsp (optional)
  5. Ajwain seeds – 1/4 tsp (optional)
  6. Fresh water – 1/2 cup + 1 tbsp
  7. Vegetable oil – 2 tsp

For filling

  1. Red lobia – 1 cup, rinsed, soaked for 4 hourscumin powder, oregano and blanched tomaotes
  2. Onion – 1 medium, chopped fine ( had 1/2 cup)
  3. Garlic – 2 small cloves, minced super fine
  4. Tomatoes – 2, blanched and pureed
  5. Vegetable oil – 1 tsp OR Butter melted – 2 tsp
  6. Red chilli powder – 1/2 tsp
  7. Cumin powder – 1 tsp
  8. Oregano – 1 level tsp
  9. Salt – 1 heaped tsp
  10. Sugar – 1/2 tsp

For garnish

  1. Green cucumber – peel, deseed, chopped fine – 1 cupDressed garnishes !
  2. Carrot – 1, grated
  3. Onion – 1 medium, sliced
  4. Apple cider vinegar – 3 tbsp, to soak the onion slices in
  5. Cheddar cheese - grated, 2 tbsp or more!
  6. Pitted olives – 2 tbsp (Optional)
  7. Iceberg lettuce – shredded, 1/2 cup (optional)



To assemble

For roti cones

Combine all ingredients mentioned under ‘roti cones’ into a dough. The measure of water I have used worked for the brand of whole wheat flour I had. Other brands may need lesser, so add water carefully. Knead well to activate the gluten in wheat flour. Rajgira does not have gluten. (more on that in the nutrition notes)

roti dough basking in love !

Make balls of the dough.

Roll into oblong rotis I used whole wheat flour for dusting. The oblong shape worked best for making cones later.oblong conito base

Raj conito balls !

Cook on one side until brown dots appear. Flip and cook the other side too. Smear 1/8 tsp butter / oil on each roti. Make oblong rotis with the rest of the balls, cook similarly. Wrap in a napkin and and set aside.flip over when lightly browned

from the rolling pin onto the frying pan


For garnish

Peel, rinse and slice the onion meant for garnish. Soak in 3 tbsp of apple cider vinegar. This turns the onions into a lovely pink hue and also removes the ‘bite’ of onions.

Rinse, peel carrot and grate using medium fine grater.

Rinse, peel, deseed cucumber and chop fine.

Shred cheddar cheese.

Pit olives, slice them thin. (if using)

Rinse lettuce, shred and keep immersed in ice cold water till needed. (if using)

Store each ingredient separately until required.

for garnish

For filling

I followed the recipe for refried beans from Tarla Dalal’s Mexican cookbook. I have substituted rajma with red lobia here and adapted quantities of other ingredients to taste. Here is what I did -

Rinse the soaked lobia. Pressure cook with water enough to cover the top of the lobia. I cooked for 5 minutes after the first whistle of the pressure cooker.

Rinse a couple of tomatoes, blanch and puree them.

Heat oil / butter in a pan.

ah, the aroma of garlic and onion frying  in butter

Tip in minced garlic followed by chopped onions.

When onions turn pink, pour in tomato puree.

When the puree has lost its raw flavour, add sugar, salt, red chilli powder, mix well.

sugar, salt and red chilli in

Now is the time to add the cooked lobia. Keep turning in the lobia and mash well with the back of the ladle. Take care not to burn the bottom.

add cooked lobia, mash well

Add the cumin powder, oregano, mix thoroughly. Switch off flame.

filling ready


To assemble the conito

Place a rectangular sheet of foil on a plate and place a roti on the foil as in the picture.

Turn the two ends of the roti to form a cone and wrap the foil around the cone, tuck the pointed end of the foil around the roti cone.conito under constuction !

wrap me soon, I can't wait

Place a heaped tablespoon of the lobia filling inside the cone.

Top up with shredded lettuce, olives (if using), grated carrots, cucumber and sliced onions. Don’t forget the yummy cheese !all ready with  garnishes !

filling peeping out !








What are you waiting for? Go ahead and enjoy your labour of love!!

The Raj ConitoAnother droolworthy Pic !

Nutri notes

  • By far, the greatest advantage of Rajgira flour is that it is gluten free and hence can be used by people with gluten – intolerance, Celiac disease.
  • With 2mg iron / 100gm of Rajgira and 47 mg Calcium / 100gm of flour, Rajgira is an immediate pick me up for adolescents.
  • The unique amino acid profile of Rajgira enables it to be a complete food when combined with pulses / legumes. (As in this recipe) The grain has a very high lysine content.
  • A low sodium food, hence great for hypertensive people too.
  • The flour has a dietary fibre of 9 mg / 100gm, great news for weight watchers, diabetics, cancer, heart disease and anyone with chronic constipation.
  • The flour does not contain B complex vitamins. Hence it has to be combined with fresh vegetables / fruits in a meal.
  • Rajgira is best consumed cooked as it has some inhibitors  ( substances that block absorption of nutrients on body). The flour can also be cooked into a plain porridge.
  • The flour has also been found to have significant amounts of phytoesterols,important in building defence mechanisms and improving immunity.

Apr 1, 2011

Arusuvai chain

Jayashree has sent me the mystery ingredient as part of Arusuvai chain, a wonderful chain event. Thank you Jayashree for the lovely handwritten note and the great cookbook.
Watch out for a recipe with the super mystery ingredient.

Power Pesarattu

Pesarattu is a much loved dish of Andhra or Telugu region of India. I have adapted the ingredients to suit my family’s taste. The use of sprouts and herbs in the batter create a unique power packed combination, easy and amazingly tasty.The herbs helped in masking a slight bitter flavour that sprouts develop. This dish works just right for breakfast in our home. I hope you find it great too! The measures used here serve 5-6 people.
Power Pesarattu
You need   
  1. Mung bean sprouts – 4 cups, heaped
  2. Raw rice – 1/2 cup, rinsed and soaked for 1/2 hour
  3. Ginger – 1 tbsp, chopped fine
  4. Green chillies – 2
  5. Coriander leaves – 1 cup, chopped
  6. Mint leaves – 1 cup, loosely packed
  7. Cumin seeds – 1 tsp
  8. Garlic – 1 pod (optional)
  9. Salt – 1 tbsp ( or more)
  10. Fresh water – 1 cup
  11. Vegetable oil / sesame oil  - 4-5 tbsp, for drizzling over dosas
mint, cumin, ginger, chillisprouts, rice, and coriander

To assemble
  1. Grind all ingredients mentioned under ‘You need’ except oil, to a real smooth batter. I used a mixer grinder. Using garlic gives a ‘kick’ to the final taste, but omitting it does not take away the pleasure either.
  2. Use water sparingly for grinding. The batter should be thinner than usual dosa batter but not too runny.smooth, frothy batter
  3. Hereon, writing the recipe is fairly simple, but creating a good dosa / pesarattu does need some practice!
  4. Heat up a dosa griddle real hot. You can see the griddle all smoked up in this picture. Season the griddle with a tsp of oil.
  5. smokin hot
  6. Dribble a ladleful of batter around the griddle, fill up the centre with more batter, and spread very gently to form a circle. Drizzle 1/2 tsp of oil around the dosa, let it sizzle.Mummy look, a green dosa!
  7. Allow to cook through and brown around the sides, ease out the dosa carefully with a sharp spatula and flip over. flip over
  8. Cook this side over medium heat, ease out and remove to a plate when done.
  9. Check the dosa for salt and flavours before proceeding with the rest of the batter. To  salvage a runny batter or too much salt, you could add up to a couple of tbsp of rice flour to the batter. Rice flour will also help the Pesarattu become more ‘flippable’ and less clingy to the dosa griddle.
I did ruin a couple of dosas before I got it right. It helped to have the griddle smoking hot, waiting for the first side to really brown before attempting to loosen it and thereon, cooking over medium heat.
Pesarattu is traditionally served with ginger chutney. I usually serve with a peanut chutney which is a great favourite with my kids.
power pesarattu
  • Soak, drain, rinse whole mung bean and tie up in a muslin cloth, leave in a moist dark place for 10-12 hours, by which time the seeds would have sprouted and you have super healthy sprouts ready.
  • Mung bean sprouts have been used in Ayurvedic approach and Chinese cuisine for several centuries.
  • Consuming raw sprouts is not advised for toddlers, pregnant women, and in any gastrointestinal disturbance. The ideal way to consume for these people would be to use home  grown sprouts, rinse well, steam or lightly stir fry them.
Nutri notes
  • The sprouting process increases the beans’ enzyme content which means, complex carbs are converted to simpler starches, proteins to amino acids and fats to simpler lipids. As a result sprouts are more easily digested.
  • Sprouting increases sodium and Vitamin C content, both of which add to protein digestibility in the body.
  • Sprouts are 'live' food. They contain active RNA, DNA, in addition to being a veritable enzymes and antioxidants storehouse. They help cell regeneration and can rightly be called ‘fountain of youth’.
  • Dry beans do not have any vitamins or minerals, but we get almost magical amounts of Vitamins A, B, C, Calcium, Sodium, Potassium, Iron, Phosphorous, Manganese, from sprouts. Thus they are very handy in winters when fresh fruits or vegetables are in short supply. Sprouts can be eaten the whole year through too, for the whole host of amazing benefits.
  • Sprouts decrease the oligosacharides in the beans – this means, beans lose their gas producing quality.
  • Sprouting also increases fibre and water content of the beans, thus helping in avoiding or easing constipation.
  • For benefits of pudina and coriander, please do read up my earlier posts.