“Muthiyas” are a very popular Gujarati snack which is usually enjoyed with a hot cup of Chai. It can be served at breakfast or during tea time and is a sure-shot starter to please your guest during parties. I prefer to give it as a school snack as it’s nutritious and quite filling. Making Muthiyas might take some time but it can be prepared in advance and refrigerated. When you need to serve it, just heat it a little. You can also deep freeze them in a zip lock bag when semi cooked, i.e. just steamed and not sautéed. You can de – frost them and sauté fresh to serve. It can stay at room temperature, overnight during winter time. This particular recipe of Muthiyas uses Dudhi or bottle gourd as its main ingredient. You can substitute it with Palak (Spinach) or Methi leaves. The best Muthiyas are full of flavor, soft from inside and a bit crispy texture form outside. You can serve it with ketchup or coriander chutney and go really well with “Chundo” which is a spicy sweet-shredded-raw mango pickle.
Serves: 6 to 8 Servings
Total Time: 1 Hour
Cooking: 30 Mins
Resting: 15 Mins
Preparation: 15 Mins
FOR THE DOUGH:
1 ½ cup dudhi (Bottle Gourd / Lauki), grated
2 green chillies, very finely chopped
2 tbsp ginger – garlic paste
½ cup curd
4 tbsp oil
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 ½ tsp chilli powder
2 tbsp cumin – coriander powder
3 tbsp sugar/ jaggery
Salt as per taste
½ cup rawa (semolina)
2 ¼ cups wheat flour
4 tbsp oil
1 tbsp mustard seeds
1 tbsp cumin seeds
½ tsp asafetida
3 tbsp sesame seeds
1 large green chilli, cut into big pieces
6 to 8 fresh curry leaves
3 to 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 tbsp chopped coriander leaves
Chaat masala to sprinkle on top (optional)
Combine grated bottle gourd, curd, oil, green chillis and ginger – garlic paste in a large bowl. Mix in sugar/ jaggery, salt, turmeric, chilli powder and cumin – coriander powder. Mix well. Cover and let it rest for 10 to 12 minutes or until bottle gourd releases water and sugar/ jaggery is completely dissolved. (The amount of salt added should be enough as this is the only stage where you’ll be adding in the salt. The salt also helps in releasing water from the bottle gourd which will help in making Muthiyas nice and soft).
Once done; mix in the semolina. Now add little flour (around ½ cup at a time) and mix. Keep kneading the mixture till you incorporate entire flour into the mixture and get soft dough. Work the dough for atleast 5 minutes to make your Muthiyas soft. The dough might be a bit sticky. If it’s too sticky add extra ¼ cup wheat flour and mix.
Now lightly grease your hands and Muthiya plates. Take a small portion of dough into your hands and roll them out into small cylinders. (It will look like small sausages). It should be about ½ to 1 inch in diameter. Once rolled, place the cylinder onto your greased Muthiya plate. Repeat with remaining dough.
Steam the rolled Muthiya cylinders for 15 to 20 minutes. Once done, remove from the steamer and let them cool down. It is very important to let the steamed Muthiyas cool down to get nice and round Muthiyas. Cut the Muthiyas with a greased sharp knife into small pieces; approximately 12 to 15 mm in thickness and keep aside.
Take a large wok or a non – stick pan and heat oil in it and add cumin and mustard seeds to it. Let the crackling stop and then add in remaining ingredients. Cook over low heat till garlic is nice and golden brown. Be careful at this stage as the sesame seeds will pop and you might burn your-self.
Add in the cut Muthiyas and keep cooking over low – medium heat for 5 to 8 minutes till the Muthiyas get nice and golden color. The Muthiyas taste better if crisped up a little bit. This can happen only if you cook them over a low heat.
To serve, you can either have then on toothpicks as shown in the photograph or just simply place them on to your serving plate. Garnish with freshly chopped coriander leaves and sprinkle over some chaat masala to give it an extra tanginess. Serve it with hot tea and some coriander chutney to dip in.
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