Guess who’s back? Over the next four weeks I’ll be running a series called Indian Cooking Step-by-Step in which I’ll be exploring classic recipes from a handful of Indian regions. Join me as I prepare Khaman – a Gujarati favourite in under 50 minutes.

I’m not too proud to admit that I’m a terrible teacher, but when it comes to cooking Indian food, I can’t help but put my two pence in. I become a wannabe Gujarati (hailing from the state of Gujarat in western India) Mary Poppins who’s full of the old-school tips I picked up watching various female family members squabble over how much ginger to put in the daal.

Khaman are fluffy, steamed, savoury cakes made with chickpea flour and a divine topping of tempered mustard seeds, sesame seeds, curry leaves, shredded coconut and coriander.

The tempered topping is the most magical part of the recipe, as hot oil with sizzling spices is (very carefully) splashed with water, and then drizzled over the top of the delicately-spicy savoury cake.

The result is a light hot and sour cake drenched with an aromatic, sweet emulsion and finished with an intense freshness from the colourful garnish. It makes for the perfect starter when served with my Coriander and Lime Chutney.

Ever attended a Gujarati wedding? Every menu almost certainly features Khaman, along with our other characteristic obsessions: Samosas, fluffy rice and buttermilk soup or daal.

Getting up to be served food, guests will moan about stingy portions of Khaman then, during dinner and without asking, the same people will slip several pieces onto your plate whilst you’re not looking because they come to realise their eyes were bigger than their bellies.

Read more about Khaman and get the recipe here.

Missing you all so much. Happy cooking – I’ll be back in a jiffy.

In the meantime, if you’re at all interested in my daily musings, food-related chit chat with just a little of the real, unedited Sanjana thrown in, follow me on Twitter or become a fan on Facebook. Would love to see you there.

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