When I think signature dishes, the ones that instantly come to my mind are my MIL's recipes. Probably because these were the ones that I encountered as 'new' in my adult life, and got to associate with especially her. One of the first of these that I tasted from her was a Holi special (but we'll leave that for later). The other one is her favorite snack recipe. I've known her to make this up at any of those times when you're feeling hungry for no apparent reason, and meal time is hours away. She's also been known to substitute this for an early dinner sometimes. As for me, I can eat her 'Sooji-ka Uttapam' anytime, anywhere and in humongous quantities - that's how good it is. Despite my liking for this, I hadn't really tried to make this my own. This was something that was predominantly "mummy' domain- I demonstrated by appreciation by eating it, but leave the actual making of it to her. Although to be truthful, I've tried it a couple of times...and then left it for the experts like her!
(Eggless vegetable frittata)
Semolina/ Sooji 1 cup
Finely chopped mixed vegetables 1 cup (Here she has onions, carrots, bell pepper and potato)
Thin yogurt 1 and 1/2 cup (better if sour)
Salt to season
Oil approximately 4 tbsp
Mustard seeds 1/2 tsp
Baking soda one small pinch
- Mix the sooji and yogurt thoroughly so there are no lumps. The batter is slightly thick, like pancake batter. Season with salt.
- Splutter the mustard seeds in a little oil, and add it to the batter.
- Add the baking soda, and then fold in the vegetables.
- In a heavy bottomed kadai, heat 2 Tbsp oil, and pour all of the batter into it. Cover with a tight fitting lid, and let cook on medium-low heat for 5-6 min.
- Carefully turn it around with two flat spatulas. Pour another 2 Tbsp oil around the sides and cook on this side for an additional 5-6 min.
- Check for doneness...a fork inserted in the middle should come out clean,,,then turn off heat and let it stand a few minutes.
- Serve hot with dhania chutney on the side; and a hot cuppa!
My two cents: I honestly didn't think I'd like this as much as I do. When she first told me what she did, I was like....'really?'....I bite my tongue now. It's an awesome tea time snack, or a filling brunch. Deceptively simple, it does need that special touch to taste like it needs to. I have personally made this hearty dish just a handful of times, and I'd be lying if I said that mine came even close to my MIL's. But one of the reasons is that unlike her, I tend to skimp on oil. This isn't for the faint hearted- so go ahead and use oil like your life depended on it! The trick is to get that crunchy crust on it, as well as getting the thick insides cooked to perfection.
Whats with my cuppa @ UK Rasoi