Luchi with cholar dal - A very popular Bengali dish (Recipe idea from BBC Goodfood India magazine)
Makes: 11 -12
1 ½ cups maida (all purpose flour ) (Please measure in Indian standard measuring cup of 200 ml / 8 oz capacity)
2 teaspoon suji ( rawa )
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon oil
3/4 cup + extra 3 tablespoon water
250 ml oil for frying
In a bowl, mix maida, suji, salt and 1 teaspoon oil and knead to a firm dough with water (first start with ¾ cup water. Later adjust with remaining 1 – 3 tablespoon water. It depends upon the texture of maida). Dough should not be very soft like chapatti dough. Cover with a wet cloth and keep aside for an hour (or store it in an airtight container).
Divide luchi dough into 11 - 12 portions and make balls. Flatten them to make rounds (just like puri - 4 inches in diameter) with the help of little dry flour (or dip it in oil / ghee (avoid dry flour) and flatten them into 4 - inch rounds).
In a kadai / deep frying pan, heat oil on high heat. Reduce heat to medium and fry luchis one at a time till it puffs up. Turn over till both sides are golden brown. Drain on paper towels to absorb extra oil and serve hot with cholar dal or any gravy dishes of your choice. Best with cholar dal.
Please use same measuring cup to measure dal and water.
For the dal:
1 cup / 200 ml / 8 oz cholar dal ( spilt chana dal / Bengal gram dal)
2 bay leaves
½ teaspoon turmeric powder
4 cups water
Wash and soak dal in a pressure cooker for one hour. Add turmeric powder and bay leaves and pressure cook for 25 minutes or until done / soft (reduce the heat to medium after 3rd whistle (3 quick whistles) and cook for 20 minute). Switch off the heat. Allow the cooker to cool naturally. Open the lid. Remove bay leaves. Gently mash dal with the base of a ladle.
1 tablespoon oil
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds (jeera)
1 teaspoon grated ginger
1 teaspoon chopped garlic
3 slit green chillies
2 dry red chillies
1 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
Extra ½ cup water
2 teaspoon thin slices of fresh or dry coconut (Optional)
Heat 1 tablespoon oil and add mustard seeds. When it crackle, add jeera and fry for 30 seconds. Then add ginger, garlic, broken red chillies and slit green chillies. Fry on a low heat for 2 - 4 minutes.
Add mashed cholar dal and adjust salt and extra water (if the dal is too thick in consistency adjust with ½ cup water). Mix all the ingredients well. Cover with a lid and cook on a low to medium heat for 15 minutes. Decorate with thin coconut slices (optional). Serve with luchi.