Don't ask me why, but I find coming up with a snack for evening tea/ coffee the most challenging. That's the time when everyone is really hungry and whatever the accompaniment it has to go with coffee (for my husband), tea (for me) or milk (for our daughter)! It's also the time when I least want to be in the kitchen!!
As if this weren't enough, I would prefer the snack to be healthy/ nutritious and light (or appetite for dinner gets destroyed) while the most important criteria for everyone else is taste, naturally.
This combination is sometimes a bit difficult to achieve, in my opinion. Have you ever noticed how the tastiest food is invariably not very good for you?
So here is one of those snacks which fulfils all the three above-mentioned criteria and actually passed the "taste" test here at home.
Try this; it doesn't take all that time and effort to make. And who knows? You just might like it too.
Muthias are small spiced dumplings made from chickpea flour, wheat flour (and sometimes even millet flour) and mostly fenugreek leaves though sometimes other shredded vegetables like doodhi/ bottle gourd or even cabbage or carrots are used. These dumplings are either steamed or fried.
They can be served as an appetizer, snacks or side dishes to the main meal. Sometimes, they are also used as in ingredient in preparing other dishes.
Muthias are typically Gujarathi food, though I understand that they're eaten in certain parts of Rajasthan too. Like I mentioned before, these can be fried instead of being steam cooked, and I don't have to tell you that they would taste even better then.
Here's the recipe I used adapted from Vasantha Moorthy's The Complete Vegetable Cookbook.
1 1/2 cups loosely packed chopped fenugreek leaves
1 cup chickpea flour (besan)
1 1/2 tbsp whole wheat flour
1 1/2 tsp cumin powder
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp sugar
1 1/2 tsp yogurt
1 1/2 tsp finely minced ginger
1/2 tsp garlic paste
1 to 2 finley chopped green chillies
salt to taste
1 tbsp oil
1 tsp mustard seeds
a big pinch of asafetida
1 sprig curry leaves, chopped
1 tbsp fresh grated coconut
1 tbsp chopped coriander leaves
Mix all the ingredients (except those for tempering and garnishing) together with a little water to make a smooth dough that is neither stiff nor very soft. The dough should be more on the softer side as this makes softer muthias.
Divide the dough into 4 equal portions. Roll out each portion, using well-oiled hands, into sausage like strands about 3/4" in diameter.
Place the rolled out dough on a greased plate and steam cook till done. A thin knife, when inserted, should come out clean when the dough rolls are done.
Allow to cool slightly and then cut the rolls into 1/2" pieces. These are the "muthiyas". Arrange them on a serving dish.
For the tempering:
Heat the oil in a small pan. Add the mustard seeds and when they splutter, add the curry leaves and asafetida. Mix once and take of the heat immediately.
Pour onto the "muthiyas" and garnish with coriander leaves and coconut. Serve slightly warm, with green chutney or ketchup.
You may also serve this as a side dish with lunch. This should serve 3 to 4.
These muthiyas are my submission for Susan's MLLA whose 12th helping is being hosted by Apu of Annarasa.