Tuesday, April 27, 2010

PaataL Pithale

This is one of the simplest pithales you can make. It has just a few essential ingredients. It tastes good - may be an acquired taste, but I love it. This is meant to be made in a hurry and needs to have a runny consistency. Though the recipe is simple, it also tests your ambidexterity. You have to sprinkle besan/chickpea flour with one hand and keep stirring with your other hand so no lumps are formed.



This very basic, simple pithale - when I served to Gudiya, you know what she did? She called it "cheese sauce for fondue" and gladly dipped her veggies in that "cheese sauce" and pretended she is having a fondue dinner! :-D



PaataL Pithale 
पातळ पिठले
Chickpea Flour Curry
Ingredients
3/4 cup besan

2 cups water

salt to taste

1 tsp chili powder


Tempering

1 tsp oil

1/2 tsp mustard seeds

1/2 tsp asafoetida

1/2 tsp turmeric powder


Suggested Accompaniment

Bhakri

Raw onions, sliced

Method
1. Heat oil in a heavy bottomed saucepan. Add mustard seeds, asafoetida and turmeric powder.
2. When they start sizzling, switch the gas to low. Add water.
3. Now, switch gas back to high. Add salt and chili powder. Bring to a rapid boil.
4. Switch the gas back to lowest. Now, use one hand to keep stirring continuously, while with other hand sprinkle besan/chickpea flour - a spoonful at a time. The continuous stirring action should prevent lumps from forming.
5. Let it simmer for 5 minutes, taking care not to thicken the "curry" consistency.
6. Switch off the gas. Serve immediately.

Note -
1. You can use a big fork for stirring which will help prevent the lumps. A little practice is needed to use both your hands simultaneously. One can argue that besan can be mixed with water before adding to the tempering. However, it's just not the same!:-)
2. Actually no garnish is required for this robust and simple dish. I have added cilantro/coriander leaves just to show some color contrast.
3. Make this dish as close to eating time as possible. This needs to have thin consistency. If made too much in advance, the curry will thicken.

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