I am passionate about savory Indian flat breads. They are a perfect accompaniment to curries and are easy to make too. They do require a bit of patience however because usually only one can be cooked in the skillet at a time. No matter. The effort is well worth it, and in this case the bread requires no kneading.
These pancakes feature fresh fenugreek leaves — also known as "methi" — an annual herb that I was lucky enough to get my hands on. It is commonly used in Indian cooking and that includes the seed and ground powder from the seed. Slightly sweet, with a hint of bitterness, it is well worth using the fresh herb, but if you can't find it — and this is sometimes a challenge — substitute about 3/4 cup dried fenugreek instead. Most Asian and Indian grocers carry the dried leaves, seeds and powder, and often the fresh leaves. These grocers will also carry chickpea flour and chapati (or "atta") flour, but for 1/2 cup of chapati flour you may substitute 1/3 cup sifted whole wheat flour and combine with enough pastry flour to make 1/2 cup.
I never used to be a fan of lima beans. I think part of the reason is that the first time I had them was from a can and I put them in a salad with a rather dreadful dressing. Thankfully I have now mastered the art of homemade dressing. The salad was massive and I don't like to eat the same thing for too many days in a row — leftovers are fine, but there is a breaking point.
Now that I have discovered dried lima beans, I actually enjoy them. Although hummus usually is associated with chickpeas, here is an interesting twist made with lima beans and served up with crispy quinoa flatbreads and a somewhat spicy salsa with avocado. As the temperature heats up, hummus is just perfect, served up with favorite raw vegetables. If I didn't tell my dinner guest that lima beans were the shining ingredient, I think he would have figured that he was dining on a chickpea hummus. A thoroughly enjoyable culinary experience.
I don't typically deep-fry foods as I generally prefer baked versions of savory appetizers to keep the mess and grease down. But there are exceptions. Like these Indian spiced chana dal fritters for example. As it turns out, these light, crispy and spicy fritters weren't very oily at all, and I enjoyed them for lunch smothered with a homemade chutney. Crispy on the outside but delightfully moist and airy in the inside, these easy-to-make fritters are a treat indeed. And very addictive. They are best served warm and fresh out of the pan, but they do keep well covered in the fridge for a day or so. Simply heat them up covered with foil in the oven in a low temperature preheated oven and enjoy them again.
It's my turn to host No Croutons Required this month. For those new to the event, Jacqueline and myself alternately host - the focus is on vegetarian soups and salads. We welcome submissions from around the world, so whether it is warming up or cooling down, be sure to share your recipe.
It's easy to participate.
All you have to do is:
Make a soup or salad that is suitable for vegetarians and showcase it on your blog.
Link back to this announcement and my blog as I am the host for May, and also Jacqueline's blog, as she is my partner in arms for this venture.
Add your recipe using the linky tool at the end of this post by the 28th of this month. Only one entry per blogger please.
The roundup will be posted at the end of the month.
We are very much looking forward to your inspired creations, as always. You can never have enough recipe ideas is my motto.