When we were in Artesia last month we ate (among a whole bunch of places) at the Surati Farsan Mart and amazing place that specialized in all sorts of tasty savories and sweets, among them khandvi. If you've never had them, Khandvi is a noodle made of besan (chickpea, aka garbanzo bean flour) curds or buttermilk and spices. Quickly cooked and set, the batter is cut into strips, rolled up and sprinkled with fresh coconut, cilantro, mustard seeds and chilies. It's the perfect finger food, and did I mention it's gluten free? Once we got back from LA I couldn't wait to give homemade khandvi a try. The day my stove broke seemed to present the perfect opportunity.
This popular Gujarati street food is very very easy to prepare and about the only tricky part is shaping the khandvi. It may take a couple of practice batches but once you get the feel for it, it's a snap. Trust me. It took me two tries to get the khandvi-making knack, but the third time was the charm and now I'm a khandvi rolling machine. All you need is a bag of garbanzo flour, and a tub of yogurt. And some mustard seeds. And some cilantro.
And some practice.
Here's What You Need:
1 cup of besan flour (garbanzo bean flour aka chickpea flour)
1 cup of plain yogurt
1 cup of water
1/8 tsp of turmeric
salt to taste
a pinch of hing (Asafoetida)
1 Tbs vegetable oil ( I use coconut oil)
1 tsp of mustard seed
2 Tbs of chopped fresh cilantro
2 Tbs of grated fresh or frozen unsweetened coconut
1 serrano chili split in half
Here's What To Do:
In a large microwave-safe bowl mix together the besan flour, the asafoetida, and the turmeric.
Add in salt to taste. I usually add in about 1 tsp. When the batter is mixed check it and see if you need more.
Stir in 1 cup of yogurt.
Mix everything together well. The one thing you want to avoid in making this batter is lumps. Try to get it as smooth as possible.
When the yogurt is thoroughly incorporated, add in 1 cup of water.
Blend everything together well.
When the batter is nice and smooth, pop it into your microwave for 1 and 1/2 minutes.
When it's done, take it out and mix it together well, smoothing out any lumpy parts.
Make sure you scrape the sides of the bowl. The batter is cooking and you want it to be smooth so that it can cook evenly. Raw garbanzo flour can have a bitter aftertaste so it's important that it 's cooked through.
While the batter is cooking in the microwave, spread a couple of long pieces of tin foil out on a counter or work surface. Set them aside.
After you've smoothed the batter again, put it back into the microwave for another 1 and 1/2 minutes.
Take it out again and give it another smoothing beating. You can use a mixer if you need to.
Pop it back in the microwave for another 1 and 1/2 minutes.
When you take it out for the final time, whip it again. It'll be thick but try to get it as smooth as you can.
Now, this is the only tricky part where it's important to work fast, as the batter will start to firm up and set.
With a spoon, drop a strip of batter along the edge of one of the sheets of tin foil.
Take a flat edged spatula and spread the strip of batter down the foil, almost as though you were plastering a wall.
Drop another strip next to the one you just spread, and then spread that one too.
Keep doing this until the foil is covered with a thin smear of the batter.
Let the batter set for 5 minutes.
The traditional way of doing this is to grease the back of a thali (large steel serving plate) and spread the batter on that, but since you may not have those around, I used foil which also makes it easier to clean up afterwards.
Once your batter has dried, take a knife and trim off the ragged tops and sides.
This will make them even and easier to cut and roll.
Cut long strips down the length of the batter on the foil.
With the tip of your knife lift up the top edge of the strip and start rolling, gently.
When you feel it's the right bite size, cut it and place it on a serving plate.
Keep doing this until all the batter has been cut and rolled.
I kept having this song running through my head while doing this.
"Rolling, rolling, rolling, keep that batter rolling, on your foil keep rolling, Khandvi !"
Sort of like Rawhide...??? Anyone? Well, it kept me in the zone, what can I say.
When all the khandvi have been rolled, arrange them nicely on a serving plate.
Sprinkle them with the grated coconut.
And then add on the chopped fresh cilantro.
Now for the chaunk, or tempering.
In a small skillet heat 1 Tbs of vegetable or coconut oil.
When the oil is hot, toss in 1 tsp of brown mustard seeds.
Add in the serrano chili split down the middle.
When the mustard seeds start to pop, pour everything over the khandvi on the platter.
In closing, I just want to mention the passing of one of the great Indian chefs and food writers, Tarla Dalal. I have always loved her recipes, and though she is gone, all that she contributed, bringing Indian cuisine to people like me will be ever appreciated.
Now that my stove is back in action I'll be cooking up some more Indian street foods for holiday party giving, and a special return to my Italian roots. Follow along on Twitter kathygori