26.10.15

Green Garlic Uttapa And A Kitchen Revolution


I have often stated this in my conversations, and now I will go on record – I have immense respect for people, often women, who handle the responsibility of everyday cooking. Not your glamourous, photo-styled, home chef kind of cooking. But your average, everyday, tiring cooking. Most Indian kitchens aren’t a walk in the garden. The exhaust often loses the battle against the heat and fumes from our spicy, oil laden food. Quality kitchen equipment isn’t a top priority for many families. And still, these unsung heroes battle with groceries, condiments, utensils, old ovens, ancient gas stoves, and many more challenges to churn out delicious breakfasts, lunches, snacks and dinners. Most often, when food is great, compliments might be missed. But a spot of extra salt, and everyone finds their whining voice.

It’s not an easy task. Which is why, I support, unconditionally, any effort to make an average kitchen warrior’s life even a little easier. Any product, gadget or produce that helps her make her mealtimes a little less of a hassle is always welcome.
On the other hand are the silent tormenters. They come disguised as friends, but are sly sadists who taunt and tease a wary cook. Take for example the cling wrap, which due to a serious personality disorder, clings to itself, and if you do manage to find the edge, wrinkles up and closes in on itself like a nightmare. Or your average baking sheet, which sticks to your baking, and can’t survive the oven heat to save its own life. Or the shiny aluminum foil, used for wrapping rotis and parathas, but helpfully makes them soggy and partly inedible.

For the past one year, though, I have found some actual friends in the kitchen. They have helped me cut the oil in my meals, helped the fruits and vegetable stay longer in the fridge, made baking a little less of a hassle, and generally been helpful in many more ways. And for this, they have my utter and unfailing respect.

Let me introduce you to one of my dear friends in the kitchen, the Asahi Kasei Frying Pan Foil. It’s not for packing rotis for the lunch box. It actually does a rather honourable task of cooking sans oil, while keeping your pans clean. In fact, I recently attended a potluck at the APB Cook Studio, where some well-known food lovers from across the city attended, and cooked, using Asahi products and were delighted by the revelations.

Back to the foil though, which caused a small miracle in my household. It’s so easy to use that Mr Khan, who is a rare sight in the kitchen, actually decided to take over the making of the Uttapams that were to be our lunch that day. Usually, despite the oil used for shallow frying, Uttapams can mess up a frying pan, not to forget, you end up consuming quite a bit of fat with all that oil used in the cooking. The cooking foil cuts out nearly all that oil, so you can save those calories for a more enjoyable indulgence, if you please.
The recipe I am about to share is no different than a regular Rawa Uttapa, except that I use loads of seasonal green garlic and some mint for a fabulous twist to the traditional taste.






Green Garlic and Mint Uttapas (Makes 6)

Ingredients
  • 1 cup semolina (rava)
  • 1 cup slightly sour curd (dahi)
  • 1/2 cup chopped onions
  • 1/2 cup chopped green garlic
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh mint leaves
  • 2 tbsp chopped cilantro (coriander leaves)
  • 2 tbsp chopped green chillies
  • ½ tbsp roasted cumin
  • A pinch of red chili powder
  • salt to taste
  • oil for cooking
  • Asahi Kasei Frying Pan foil

Method
Put a small square of the cooking foil on the pan. Heat a pan and roast the rava for 2 minutes.
Remove the rawa from the foil, and use the same foil for roasting the green garlic for about a minute.
Combine the roasted semolina and curd in a bowl and mix well, adding water if required.
Cover and keep aside to ferment for 40-60 minutes.
Add the cumin, salt and chili powder and mix gently. Add the mint, cilantro and green chillies.
Line the pan with the cooking foil, as shown in the picture above. Brush the foil with a couple of drops of oil, and pour a ladleful of batter and spread it in circular motion to make an uttapa.
Cook from one side, turn over and cook from the other side.
Make more such uttapa using the remaining batter. Brush it with a drop of oil after every uttapa.
Serve hot.

PS: When Mr Khan took over the making of the Uttapas, he added a dash or Sriracha to the batter. It worked wonders for the Uttapas. Try it if you have some handy!

I was amazed by how little oil I used for making these. The uttapas don’t stick to the foil, and slide off easily. And once you are done cooking, the hassle of scrubbing a greasy, sticky pan is wonderfully eliminated. You can use the foil to make omlettes, roast chicken, parathas, or toasted sandwiches. The Frying Pan Foil is truly a Kitchen Revolution. It’s truly a friend I have come to count on. 

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