Chickpea Flour Dumplings

Chickpea flour (besan) dumplings, also known as muthias (an Indian version of dumplings popular in state of Gujarat in India), is typically made from edible gourd (lauki), root and green leafy vegetables like methi (fenugreek leaves) along with a combination of flours and spices. These come in a myriad of flavors ranging from mildly hot to slightly sweet and sour tasting. My favorite dumplings are the one prepared out of grated edible gourd, zucchini-carrot and of course my all time favorite fenugreek and spinach that can be made in just under 30 minutes so long as you have the needed ingredients on hand. The best part is that you can cook these in the microwave and season afterwards without adding too much oil. Below is a simple recipe using the chickpea flour along with grated zucchini and everyday spices used in my kitchen.

4 1/2 cups grated zucchini or lauki
1 cup chickpea flour
1/2 cup sooji or cream of wheat
1/4 cup corn flour
1/3 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt or to taste
¼ teaspoon turmeric – optional
¾ cup plain yogurt or as needed
½ tablespoon vegetable oil
¼ teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon white sesame seeds

1) In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients excluding the last four ingredients. Using a wooden spoon, mix in about 1/8 cup of yogurt intermittently to form moderately soft dough. Add extra besan or yogurt to achieve the right consistency.
2) Add additional seasonings and continue to mix, just until well incorporated. (Since the dough is soft, sticky and hard to stir, I find it easier just to mix it with my hands).
3) Mix thoroughly and wet your hands lightly with water or oil and divide the dough into three equal portions and shape each portion into a log about 5-6 inches long. It is extremely important to use the light touch while shaping the logs or rolls. Or simply make them in oblong shape dumplings (muthias-literally means resembling a fist).
4) Lightly grease a microwave safe casserole dish and place the chickpea-zucchini rolls on top of the greased dish and add about ¼ cup of water. Cover and microwave on high until firm to the touch or until toothpick inserted in center of the roll comes out clean. It will take about 8 to 9 minutes, depending upon the microwave wattage. Or simply steam it in the pressure cooker.
5) Let it cool completely and cut them as needed. Heat oil in a skillet and immediately add cumin and sesame seeds. Partially cover the skillet with a lid and as soon as the seeds start sputtering add the cut pieces and pan-fry until lightly golden on both sides. Remove from the heat and serve warm.


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