Whenever I hear the word 'snack', the little voice in my head often whispers high calorie, deep fried, crispy-crunchy munchies that aren’t too good for our waistline. We Indians are quite fond of our snacks. Every guest who visits us, including the unexpected guest at ungodly hours, is welcomed with a mug full brimming with hot, strong coffee/tea and a plateful of snacks ranging from savouries to sweets. After all, we have been taught this golden verse "Atithi Devo Bhavah" in our childhood, which means treat your guests as god! Hungry or not, Atithi is expected to eat and sometimes even force fed to the point your stomach refuses to expand anymore and ready to burst!
The context of 'snacking' is changing with time. Before, it was usually cooked with lot of love and attention to detail by a mother or aunts or grandmothers at home. Now, it is more of snacking on junk food available at fast food junctions or from road side vendors. There is nothing wrong in eating from fast food junctions or the ones sold by road side stalls. But it is equally important to understand when and where do you draw line and balance your diet!
We all love our deep fried and sugar loaded snacks, but at a same time do we equally love and show respect to healthy and high nutritional snacks??? Thankfully many of us do. And this trend of eating healthy and healthy lifestyle is actually encouraging us to dig into our heirloom recipes that are not just friendly on our waistlines, but also super nutritious for our body and an absolute treat for our taste buds. These are the recipes cooked by our grandmothers and great grandmothers for many generations. No wonder my grandma and the people of her generation glowed with health and looked so wonderful. And at the same time they lived a healthy life even in their seventies and eighties without falling ill regularly as we do in our generation!!!
One such healthy choice is Muthia, a Guajarati dish of steam cooked dumplings with a goodness of Bottle guard and Beetroot. Grated veggies are mixed with whole wheat flour, gram flour, semolina and aromatic spices to form a dough and steam cooked to perfection. Now who wouldn’t love these cute, delicious dumplings bursting with flavour and nutrition? This recipe is so simple that you can make it in a jiffy and takes even less time compared to any deep fried snacks.
What you need ?
- Doodhi (Bottle gourd or Lauki) – 1 1/2 cups, Grated
- Beetroot - 1/2 Cup, grated
- Onion – ¼ cup, grated
- Whole wheat flour – ½ cup
- Besan (chickpea flour) – ½ cup
- Semolina (Sooji or Rawa) – 1 cup
- Turmeric powder – ½ teaspoon
- Asafoetida – ¼ teaspoon
- Baking soda – ¼ teaspoon
- Cumin seeds – ½ teaspoon
- Fennel seeds – ½ teaspoon
- Sugar – 1 teaspoon
- Ginger paste – 1 teaspoon
- Green chilies – 4, chopped finely
- Cilantro – 10 sprigs, chopped finely
- Lemon juice – 1 teaspoon
- salt – to taste
- Oil – 1 teaspoon
- Oil – 3 teaspoons
- Mustard seeds – ½ teaspoon
- Sesame seeds – 2 teaspoons
How to Make ?
- Grate onion, beetroot and bottle gourd. Measure it and keep it aside.
- Then in a bowl mix wheat flour, besan, semolina, turmeric powder, asafoetida, baking soda, cumin seeds, fennel seeds, salt and sugar.
- Then add ginger paste, green chilies, chopped cilantro, lemon juice and oil.
- Squeeze out as much possible water from bottle gourd and onion. Use your all strength to squeeze out water.
- Add it to the bowl, mix well and knead it into soft dough. Use water only if needed ( you might need a tablespoon or less)
- Prepare steamer. Add about an inch of water and let it come to boil. Then apply some oil on steamer tray and grease it well.
- Apply some oil on your palms and divide the dough in to four equal portions. Shape each portion in to cylindrical roll approximately 5 inches long and 1 inch in diameter. Arrange on grease tray and steam it for 20-22 minutes.
- You can check if Muthia is cooked by inserting a toothpick in it and it should come out clean.
- Let it cool for 5 minutes then cut into half inch slices.
- Heat the oil in a pan for tempering.
- Once hot add mustard seeds and sesame seeds. Let them splutter. Then add sliced muthia.
- Mix gently so muthia do not break and cook it till you get little brown and crispy muthia. Turn off the heat. Serve hot!
- Serve with ketchup or coriander chutney or Mango Chunda
- The amount of water required to make this dough is very little. So be cautious while adding the water.
- If you are not counting the calories, simply deep fry the muthias once steamed and serve.
- You can also skip pan frying the muthias and serve immediately after they have been steam cooked with a cup of hot coffee or tea.
- Grated onion is optional in this recipe.