Indian treats to enjoy with your tea: Maharashtrain Bhakarwadi
Maharashtrain bhakarwadi is a sweet and spicy fried treat that originates from western Indian state of Gujarati. It is fun to make and a nice departure from your traditional British accompaniments to tea. I have made these by baking instead of the traditional frying. If you wish to fry, you will want a lighter oil like canola or corn oil for the frying and will keep each piece in the oil until golden brown (about 5-7 minutes).
Maharashtrain Bhakarwadi (makes about 25-35 pieces)
1 cup of All Purpose Flour
1 cup of Chick Pea or Brown Rice Flour
2 tablespoon corn or potato starch
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 cup of sesame oil
1/2 cup of water
Additional water added by Tablespoon while kneading
1/2 cup of dried unsweetened coconut
1/4 cup of sesame seeds
1/4 cup of poppy seeds
2 tablespoons of sugar
1/2 tablespoon of ground cumin
1/2 tablespoon of ground coriander
2 teaspoons of chili powder
1/4 teaspoon of Anise seeds
1/4 teaspoon of onion powder
1/2 teaspoon of Garam Masala
4-5 Mint leaves chopped
2 teaspoons of freshly grated ginger
1 clove of garlic grated
1/8 teaspoon of cinnamon
Juice from a 1/4 of a lemon
Set oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Start by mixing together the ingredients for the dough. The dough will be dry and require additional water as you knead. The goal is to get the dough to stick together but not be too wet. When the dough is slightly shiny and no longer cracks as you knead but is not wet, you have found the right consistency. Cover the dough and move on to making the filing.
Maharashtrain Bhakarwadi dough and spicing.
This is a dry filing. You will mix together all the ingredients, including the lemon juice from a quarter of the lemon, and then take a little taste. If you would like a little more spice, add in 1/4 teaspoon of ground clove.
Cut the dough ball in half. Roll out half the dough to roughly 7 inch diameter circle. I roll on a sheet of wax paper to make it easier to roll the final cookie using the wax paper to support the dough.
Once the dough is rolled out. Sprinkle on lemon juice from the other quarter of the lemon you are wondering what to do with. If you already put it in your water, you can also used tamarind paste, just smooth on a thin layer. Pat down, press it into the dough, half the filling. Get it as close to the edge as possible. Then roll the dough into a long flute. Cut it into 1 inch pieces. Repeat this process with the second ball of dough and the other half of the filling.
Place each piece on a cookie sheet. You can brush the tops and outside with a little oil if you would like a darker color to the dough. They should bake in the oven for 30-40 minutes. At the 20 minute mark, pull them out and flip them over. Watch carefully after the 30 minute mark as you do not want the coconut or sesame seeds to burn. Once you start to smell the spices after the 30 minute mark, pull them out and get them on a plate.
You can serve immediately or put in an air tight container. They are good for about a week.
I have been making my own yogurt for over a year now, and tea infused yogurt would combine two of my favorite foods.. In trying to find yogurt that is not loaded with sugar or artificial sweetener, I did what many people do these days and googled how to make yogurt at home. I was pleased to discover how few ingredients it required and, since I already had a dehydrator big enough to hold 8 oz glass jars, I was pretty much ready to go if I could just find yogurt starter at a grocery store.
Yogurt starter is basically the bacteria necessary to make yogurt, in packets very similar to the yeast used to make bread. Some recipes suggested that you could use yogurt from the grocery store instead of the yogurt starter however, as I was trying not to eat the yogurt in the grocery store, I decided to pass on this option. Finding the yogurt starter was simple here in the suburbs of Washington, DC where I found yogurt starter in the baking aisle next to tapioca and various extracts.
So why tea flavored yogurt? Over the year as I have gotten more comfortable with scalding milk, getting it up to 180 degrees Fahrenheit without boiling, I have gotten braver in adding alternatives to the milk to try to flavor the yogurt. I decided while reading a recipe for tea flavored ice cream that I should be able to flavor yogurt with tea was amazed to find that it worked!
Now, before I show you the recipe I should say I do not add sugar to my yogurt. I rely on the lactose in the milk to sweeten the yogurt, which makes for a tarter yogurt than most Americans are used to. I really like it, but my son absolutely dislikes it and David doesn’t eat yogurt, so I’m subjected to my own creations. I have added a note at the end, if you want sweetener, on what and how much to add.
While I haven’t done this recipe with herbals or green teas, I imagine it could work with them also. Just be prepared for your yogurt to take on some unconventional colors – like green or pink. This recipe calls for your favorite black tea, which in my case is Earl Grey. Just be aware of how it tastes in the cup because that taste will amplify in the yogurt, especially if it is citrus in flavor.
Getting started, you need a few pieces of equipment, a good liquid thermometer, dehydrator and fine mesh sieve. You can usually find a thermometer in the kitchen equipment section of your grocery store next to the can openers. If you have butter fingers like I do, spend the extra money for the waterproof one so when you drop it in the milk it will survive (learned this one the hard way). As for the dehydrator, there are many options out there, so find one you like that can run at 115 degrees Fahrenheit and is deep enough to hold glass jars. Ball makes 4 and 8 oz jars, so measure before you buy. I use 8 oz since I already had them in the house from making jelly and my dehydrator was big enough to hold them if I removed the racks. As for the sieve, the finer the mesh you can find the better, as the dust from the tea leaves will get through if the holes are too big. You might like it or you might find it a bit gritty in your yogurt (it looks almost like vanilla bean seeds at the bottom of the yogurt cup when it is done cooking). I resorted to a kitchen supply store to find one that was fine enough and I still get some tea dust remaining in the yogurt.
Whole Milk and Earl Grey Tea
4 cups Whole Milk*
2 tbs Favorite Black Tea (mine is Earl Grey)
1 packet Yogourmet yogurt starter
Scalded Whole Milk and Earl Grey Tea
Put the 4 cups of milk in a sauce pan with the tea leaves, you will need to stir to get the leaves incorporated. Bring the milk up to 180 degrees Fahrenheit without letting it boil. Expect it to turn caramel color as the tea brews in the milk. As soon as it hits 180 degrees take the pan off the burner and allow the milk to cool back down to 120 degrees Fahrenheit. If you are adventurous you could strain out the tea as soon as you pull the pan off the burner. I prefer to wait as I have no need to get burned by hot liquid if it happens to splash while pouring it through the strainer.
Straining Off Earl Grey Tea
Pour the milk through the strainer into a vessel that makes it easy to pour the milk into the jars (I have a 4 cup Pyrex measuring cup with a spout that makes this super easy).
Put the yogurt starter into a small bowl that you can whisk in and ladle in a couple of scoops of the milk once it hits 115 degrees (I have found this happens almost immediately after pouring the milk through the sieve). Whisk until the starter has dissolved then add back into the rest of the mill and stir.
Distribute the milk between your glass jars and then put those jars for a minimum of 4 hours in your dehydrator at 115 degrees Fahrenheit. Check if thick enough by turning the jars upside down at the 4 hour mark. I have had it take as long as 6 hours in a few cases. Transfer the jars to the refrigerator and start to enjoy the yogurt the next morning. Be prepared for losing about ½ cup of the milk to being absorbed by the tea leaves.
Just a word of caution about Earl Grey and other citrus flavored teas – Citrus and milk creates buttermilk, which is very tangy. Even if the citrus is nothing more than an extract, my experience has been that the yogurt is rather tangy. So I will admit, sometimes sugar is necessary to help tone this down. I add mine after the fact by pouring a little agave nectar (no more than a teaspoon per serving) over the top before eating, but that is only after I have tasted the yogurt first.
For those who really need sugar in your yogurt – go with ¼ to 1/3 cup of a liquid form of sugar – like agave nectar, honey or maple syrup. While these 3 may turn your white milk slightly cream colored, you do not have to battle trying to dissolve granulated sugar in your milk while trying to make sure your milk does not boil.
*Forget 2% or skim milk as they make runny yogurt that requires corn starch to thicken – too much work in my book
I hope you enjoy this recipe. What do you like to cook with tea?