Sel Roti from Sikkim

>>  Friday, April 25, 2014

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Sikkim was the easiest state when it came to deciding on what to make. Very early in the researching, I had this document that had recipes from Sikkim and I just decided I would do it. I had earlier done a Sikkim thali, many years ago, that also had non veg dishes as part of it.

However since this time I was very keen on making a Bread, I thought Sel Roti was actually a roti. I never really thought much about it, until there another theme in previous BM, that had some of my friends making this Sel Roti. I was surprised that there is hardly any roti in this dish, or at least how we assume. On further study on this dish, I came to know this is a Bread for them, in the sense we would treat a bread, however it is still a bread and that was enough for me. Sel roti is served as staple confectionery bread with Shimi ko achar and mutton curry.

Though I had the recipe, I still wanted to see how exactly this was made, as most NE states seem to have a vague way of doing things. I came across this video and then a post by Gayathri

Thinking I would make it on a Sunday, I soaked the rice and it remained for a week in the fridge. This was finally done in the last weekend along with the couple of other pending posts and Amma was there to help me. The batter is quite tricky to work with and we would have tried a glass, ladle and hand, to pour the batter into the hot oil to get the rings. However the shapes wouldn't come out as perfect as it was shown in the video. The rice could matter or even the entire process. I was just happy that taste wise, it was excellent.

It's quite hard to handle when hot, so drain and let it cool before attempting to taste it. Taste wise, this tastes more like the Athirasam, Utanki. The method of making is almost the same as Utanki, resembling in the shape, fermentation and process as such. The resultant sweet becomes very crispy and a great snack. 

Sikkim Sel Roti 

Ingredients Needed:

Raw Rice-1 cup
Sugar-1/4 cup
Ghee-1/3 cup
Water-1/2 cup
Cardamom Powder-1/4 tsp
Powdered Clove-a pinch
Oil- For Deep Frying

How to make the Sel Roti

Wash and soak rice overnight. Drain and take the rice in a mixer.

Add sugar, ghee, water, cardamom powder and clove and grind to a fine thick paste.

Pour this into a measuring jar or any glass. 

Heat oil in a kadai. 

Beat the batter with a spoon until fluffy. Once the oil is hot, pour the batter into hot oil in the shape of a circle.

Fry until golden on both sides. Drain oil and transfer the rotis on a plate.

When cool, store in airtight jar.

In the other recipe I got for this dish, they have added 250 gms of wheat flour for a 1 Kg of Rice.

The batter is very tricky and needs practice to work on making the circles when poured into the hot oil. You can adjust the shapes with rods or chop sticks.


Khoba Roti, Aloo Ki Subzi from Rajasthan

>>  Thursday, April 24, 2014

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How does it feel to imagine something you have never experienced? I mostly end up thinking on those lines and always come up with a feeling of the sensation that happens in mind and I have vivid picture to accompany what I think. I have never been on a desert! And that's what I have thought of many times, how does it really feel, and the books that I happen to read during my childhood, have aided more to my imagination. The best has always been Tintin in the Land of Black Gold, where everybody keeps walking around the desert. I have read these books countless number of times, so many times, that a part of my childhood stands frozen with memories associated with these books. 

So when talking about deserts and the endless sands, I only think of the one desert state we have, Rajasthan. I have not visited this Rajasthan, though I have read so much about it and love the cuisine. I do include these in my regular cooking and don't realize that I haven't visited this place. When I had to decide on a bread, when I have almost made most of the bread that's made here, I thought I will really have to look around a lot.
However my search ended much earlier than I thought when I read about Vikas Khanna's Khoba Roti. He talks about food is art form and this intricate, beautifully designed bread will make you want to pack your bags and travel to Rajasthan. How true!

I was fixed on my Khoba Roti and wanted a subzi for it. When I visited Vaishali, she introduced me to her Rajasthan friend. Before we could even exchange pleasantries, we were shamelessly asking her to share her recipes. This happened across mehendi function, when intricate designs were being put on our hands, I was thinking of the Khoba bread. She was telling us that they know atleast 40 different ways to make Potatoes and was telling us about tomato launji. With our hands being unavailable, Nandini thought we would be smart enough to record her recollecting the recipe. Vaishali's friends thought we were out of the world, maybe even thinking that we were nuts in their minds. However we were beyond that.

It was really sad that Nandini's phone crashed and we lost the smart thing we thought of.

And without that I had to resort to making a different Aloo Ki subzi that I had, which is from Rajasthan enjoy..

Aloo Ki Subzi

Ingredients Needed:

Aloo - 2 cups, boiled and cubed
Onions - 2 medium / 3/4 minced
Tomatoes - 3 medium
Oil + Ghee - 3 tsp
Bay leaf - 1 big
Fennel - 1/4 tsp
Kalonji - 1/4 tsp
Methi seeds - few
Cumin seeds - 1/4 tsp
Red chili powder - 1 tsp
Coriander powder 1 tsp
Turmeric powder a pinch
Garam Masala - 1/2 tsp
Curds - 1/2 cup
Cream - 1/2 cup
Coriander leaves for garnish

How to make the Aloo Ki Subzi

Pressure cook or MW Aloo for 8 - 9 till fork soft. Peel and cube, keep it aside.

In a non stick pan, heat oil, ghee, add minced onions, saute well.

Then add the whole spices, saute well. Next add tomato puree, cook well.

Add all the spices along with salt and cook on high, as you keep stirring.

Cover it with lid and make sure the tomatoes are cooked well.

Now add the cubed aloo, curds and simmer till curds is blended well.

Add water and bring to boil. Now add the cream and simmer for 5 - 7 mins.

Finally add finely chopped coriander leaves.

Serve with Khoba Roti

Khoba Roti | Moti Roti

Ingredients Needed:

All purpose flour  - 2 cups
Carom seeds/ Ajwain  - 1 tsp
Red Chilli flakes - 1 tsp
Salt to taste
Clarified Butter/ Ghee - 2 tsp

How to make Khoba Roti

In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, carom seeds, chilli flakes and salt with 2 tbsp of ghee. Mix very well and knead in enough water to make a soft pliable dough. Cover with a moist muslin and keep aside for 10 minutes.

After 10 minutes, divide the dough in half. Roll out each half into a thick roti of about 12 to 14 inch diameter.

Beginning from the centre and moving outwards, pinch the surface of the roti to make a design on the roti. Repeat for the second roti.

Heat a griddle over low flame, place the roti design side up and cook over gentle heat. Drizzle over the top and on sides with ghee. When one side is cooked golden, carefully turn the roti over and cook on the other side. Repeat for other roti.

Serve hot with Aloo Ki Subzi


The top design can be done directly on the tawa or on board. I felt making on the board was much better than on the hot tawa.

I strongly recommend sprinkling red chili flakes over the top, else it does tends to be thick plain roti.


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