Monday, February 15, 2010

India Trip : Day 1 : Post 5

This is khandvi, a Gujarati staple and specialty.

Silky smooth in texture, and spicy in taste, it was demolished within minutes of arrival (yes, you bastards! you know exactly who you are!!!)

But why not? It's a masterpiece of conception, execution and delivery.

First up, in involves chickpea flour, spices and water and blended over heat into a thick batter. Then, the batter is spread out real thin onto flat oiled surfaces while it is still hot, and left to cool.

The batter which dries up is then rolled into thin rolls which are sliced.

Following that, oil is heated to a high temperature, and mustard tossed into it. This hot mixture is then poured all over the (sliced) rolls.


Incidentally, this technique of frying spices in hot oil and pouring on or into dishes -- baghar or tadka -- which perfumes the entire dish with the spices is the only unique innovation that Indian cuisine has ever made.

This is not as pejorative as it sounds - all the other techniques - roasting, steaming, frying - arise all over the globe. In fact, the Indians were taught the concept of steaming by the Chinese traders in the 10th century.

An innovation at this basic level is extraordinarily high praise indeed!


hector said...

Wow. Interesting dish. Is the batter not cooked again after being rolled out, dried, and rolled back up? What is the consistency of the final dish? It looks like bamboo shoots but sounds more like a savory baclava.

ShockingSchadenfreude said...

The consistency is that of a quivering flan (hard to believe but true!) except that these are "solid" and can (and should) be picked up with your hand and eaten.

It is nothing like baklava which is a lot flakier.