Some like it for breakfast, Some like it for lunch Some like it for dinner, Some like it anytime, all days in a week! (Sing it like the nursery rhyme! 🙂 )
A favorite of most of us! Crusty, flaky alu paratha smeared with dollops of butter, hot straight from the girdle and we gobble it up in minutes. Probably thanks to Bollywood mothers who would serve it to their children, wonder when our mothers started suit! A staple in most canteens for its easy to make, it has seen innumerable emotions shared when all you could afford for a celebration or as a comfort food over broken hearts was either alu paratha or a Maggi. The alu paratha mostly won over Maggi because it could get as close as it could to “maa ka pyaar” (mother’s love) needed then! But it would fill us with the guilt later “too much butter” “too much starch” and so on.. Almost after every single time of gluttony, the satisfied tongue would blurt out “I wish somebody could devise a non-buttery, non-fatty alu paratha” sighing that it wouldnot be the same, then! But, far off in a land, this wish comes true! Gnochhi!!
So, here is my version of the Gnochhi, a bit simpler (yeah , the lazy me). Boil the potatoes and grate it finely. in fact, the traditional recipe calls in that boiled potatoes be passed through something similar to a (metal) tea strainer! I just grated it. The point is- it should be powdery, resembling flour. Add salt, chili flakes and mixed herbs to it. I also added roughly ground green chillies and coriander for that extra tingle of spice. Now add whole wheat flour till a soft dough is formed and you cannot distinguish the boiled potatoes and the wheat flour.
Then bring out the artist in you! Cut or pull out small pieces of this flour and press and roll over the fork so that it gets this design. Some could do it with hand, but rolling over the fork makes it quicker and simpler. Be sure that the ends are sealed. This will create sort of a hollow tube like structure. Initially when I started rolling them, a few slipped, turned into rogue figures! But just kept trying at them and viola! In a few turns, my hand was soon making quite good ones if not perfect ones. Soon, there were 4 plates full of them- those cuties! You can freeze them at this stage if you feel they are too much to finish and they will stay there happily for 2 weeks if you manage to overcome the urge to finish them within 2 days!
I had kept a pot of water for boiling when I had realized that my hands were finally able to roll them and so by the time all the dough was transformed into twists, the pot of water was boiling- ready for the Gnocchi to plunge into. Added a small spoonful of cooking oil to the water and in they plunged. Not all at a time! In batches. I was cautious of them just dissolving into boiling water, leaving me with a failed experiment. So I added around 10 at a time- you could say a handful. Peering at them, taking care not to stir the water too much, I waited. And up swam one followed by others soon! Once they are cooked, they swim to the surface as if calling you to pull them out and you just strain them.
Once the first lot was out on the plate, I kept a pan for shallow frying them while I added the next lot to the boiling pot of water. The hot pan sizzling with butter welcomed the first lot of boiled Gnocchi. Tossed them till they were golden brown. Aha! I tried the next lot with ghee and they turned out great as well! I don’t like ketchup so I accompanied it with mint chutney. I guess it would go great with a cheesy dip and any other spicy chutneys as well.
Next time, I plan to sprinkle chat masala as well! Doesn’t the basic food- the traditional recipes tell you that the basics are the same, across the world -that yes, food connects! Go ahead, try! Looking forward to seeing pics and reading your experiences!