Breaking Naan is about breaking bread with friends to share and discover experiences and recipes from our travels around the world. We trace our roots to India and Naan is one of the popular breads of our cuisine. Hence the name “Breaking Naan”. We are about food, sharing and discovery.
Kutchi Dabeli is a mixture of mashed potato and aromatic masalas thats smeared onto a split open dinner roll like Pav. Its now a popular dish from kutch that is available all across india. It started as a simple dish made with cold pav, with peanuts for crunch and fruits like pomegranate or grapes for some refreshing acidity, finally all packed in a punch with a chilli laced raw garlic chutney pungency.
Then as it travelled, it got modified to suit the tastes of the broader population. The first change was the pav getting griddled crisp on amul butter, then came the instinct of more is better and rolling the dabeli in sev, and for opulence going with some grated cheese.
In kutch itself the dabeli vendors started reusing the dabeli mashed potato masala in a new way. They would take crispened and dried crouton like bread products called butter or toasts. They would pound them to make them break and dress with the dabeli mash and top it with all other dressings. This dish they started calling Kutchi Kadak.
All about the aromatics
If you are going to make Kutchi Kadak, make the dabeli masala on your own a la minute. Roast some fennel, cumin and coriander seeds till fragrant. Toast a kashmiri red chili, cardamom and clove in a dry pan. Then grind everything coarsely with a small piece of nutmeg. You can also add a black cardamom and star anise seed as well as a small stick of cinnamon.
We had some brilliantly sweet smelling ceylon cinnamon gifted to us by our friend Nicole from her travel to Sri Lanka. So instead of a whole cinnamon stick we mixed in a little bit of ceylon cinnamon powder into our ground masala. We also mixed in some red chili powder, salt and black salt.
The avocado kadak
As we eat an avocado on e or twice every week we just decided to take out the potato puree component and just use avocado as all the masalas used complement it quite well. Also we do not over puree our avocado anyways but always just subject it to a back side of the spoon light mash.
For the crisp bread component we used our local sourdough bakeries multi grain sourdough bread to make crispy croutons.
We used the Madison Sourdough bread and tore it into small pieces and drizzled with some olive oil and baked them at 375 for 20 mins till they were dry and crisp.
We made a chutney by mixing water, fresh garlic paste, red chili powder and oil.
We cut an avocado and used half of the flesh to mash it with back of the spoon. We did so by adding some onions, tomatoes, cilantro, our fresh ground kutchi dabeli masala, hint of tamarind chutney and the chili garlic chutney.
We then added our sourdough toast and dressed them with this mash.
Then we cut the other half of avocado into small pieces and dressed them with lime juice.
We divided the dressed kadak toast in two bowls and topped them with fresh cut avocado pieces, chili peanuts, cilantro, pomegranate seeds and a drizzle of the chili garlic chutney.
This eats beautifully like a salad with a punch and warmth from the fresh ground spices – the croutons are crispy contrast to the soft luxurious avocado alongwith the crunchy peanuts.
We don’t need to write much about how eating oats is considered healthy. We started adding them to our morning routine for that reason.
We tried various kinds and disqualified the instant ones due to added sugars and additives and the taste factor in general. They were a chore to eat. Going through a week eating oats every day in the morning started to feel cumbersome. That’s no fun! Then we came across a recipe by Raymond Blanc of the oats or porridge served at Le Manoir aux quat Saissons. We liked the idea of bringing in seasonal fruits, nuts etc in a single morning meal, which an be different everyday. We started liking this routine. The oats are hearty and fill you up and keep you energetic through the morning well into lunch.
Our approach to oats is like mutual funds. We add little bit of many things other than the routine ingredients. This way we get a good coverage of nutrients and if we are wrong about an ingredient or two, they are still in moderation. But we also don’t make the oats a whole week routine, we make it only during work days, so eating them does not get boring.
Some ingredients stay the same for us. Organic Rolled Oats is what we use. We soak them overnight in some organic whole milk grass fed yogurt and a splash of fresh unsweetened almond milk (this is the only fresh nut milk we get near us that does not come with added preservatives and sugars). We add enough of the yogurt and almond milk for the oats to swim in them. By morning the oats soak up the liquids. We also add a squeeze of fresh lime overnight. We also add spoon of crushed flax seeds. The other kind of fixed portion is in the morning we take the oats and add a grate-able fruit to it – usually an apple, sometimes a pear if its in season.
The Guest Stars
We add a whole bunch of chopped nuts, seeds and dried fruits based on what is available. Some we soak overnight, some we add in the morning. If we are adding nuts we toast the nuts slightly in a 350 F oven for 10 minutes.
The other guest stars are nut powders.
Followed by nut butters
Followed by seasonal fresh fruit
Followed by occasional treats like very low sugar content dark chocolate, a drizzle of honey
Nut, seeds, dried fruit Options
Amaranth (Soaked Overnight)
Chia (Can also be soaked overnight)
Raisins (Can also be soaked overnight)
Cherries (Can also be soaked overnight)
Goji Berries (Can also be soaked overnight, for adding last minute try putting them in a freezer and they provide a delicious crunch)
Figs, Oranges, Peaches, Apricots, Nectarines, Grapes, Guava, Mango, Pineapple, Bananas – essentially whatever seems right, in season and at home
The Overnight Oats in the morning
As mentioned we start with the ingredients soaked overnight. They generally soak up all the liquids. So we grate the apple or pear in and loosen the mix up with a splash of more yogurt or nut milk. Here depending on the mood and availability we could swirl in some flavored yogurt on hand in the fridge. We follow it up by topping with chopped nuts, swirl of nut butter or a sprinkle of nut powder and some fresh fruit. Below are some exaples of the morning bowl of overnight oats.
This one got a swirl of blueberry yogurt we had on hand. It had chopped apricots, walnuts, almonds, hazlenuts and a swirl of almond butter.
This one had a swirl of tahini, almonds, walnuts, macademia nuts, raisins, fresh banana and pistachio powder
This one had chopped dark chocolate, brazil nuts, walnuts, almonds and fresh orange
And many more. Doing it this way gives us something to look forward to, overnight oats are not boring and infact it also gives us a creative kick-start to the brain everyday.
Overnight Oats with Dark Chocolate Orange and Nuts
My Mom would make Batatyache Kaap when i was a kid. This was around the time when i had too little interest in food and had neither any command over the culinary language. I used to call them batatyachi chaka – as in potato wheels.
We used to make it every once in a while till recently but had forgotten about them a bit. This was when a fellow food blogger from Pune posted a pic of them when he had these at a restaurant called Saoji Khamang. The below pic is courtesy of Vaibhav @ BhukkadBoy
Sweet Potato Kaap
Having seen these absolutely rekindled the wish for making these again. Also it is fall and the butternut squashes and the sweet potatoes are starting to show up. We thought sweet potato kaap will totally work.
They are really simple to make and can possibly be made with quite a few root vegetables. People love it because of the texture at the crispy edges.
My mom used a mixture of rice flour and wheat flour to make these. The flour that you coat on the sweet potato also gets toasted and brings out additional flavor from it that is unique. Make the dusting flour by mixing 2 Tbsp each of rice and wheat flour with 2 tsp red chili powder, 1 tsp turmeric powder and salt to taste. One can add half a tsp of amchoor powder or chat masala if they like. We also add a tsp of semolina as it makes the crust crispier.
We like to precook the potato or sweet potato. We steam it and peel and cut into rounds. Leaving the rounds thick means you can taste a bit more of the vegetable. Making them thinner means more crispy crust ratio, however there is a chance the wheels break during handling and you need to fry a bit longer.
Once you cut the steamed sweet potatoes into rounds, roll them in the flour mixture and make sure to dust off excess. Collect these in a plate.
Most of your work will be done on a low to medium heat. Add some oil to a pan and when it heats up slide the rounds/kaap into the pan carrying some oil with it.
Let them cook patiently and reliably browning evenly all over. You will start to see the floor at the edges sizzling and getting aromatic. You can then flip them and drizzle a bit of oil in the pan. I like to baste the top as well with a oil brush so that it does not dry out. Sometimes if i feel top side needs more browning i will flip it back.
Once ready take them out on a plate and season with a few grains of sea salt and enjoy.
Watch as many street food videos you can of chana bhaturas getting served all over delhi. One of the quintessential sides is a fresh pickle of carrots and green chilies. It is not a typical indian pickle, but rather a fresh one prepared on short notice using lime juice and vinegar.
The pickling spice
The achari masala or pickling spice is quite simple for this quick pickle. Fenugreek seeds, white mustard seeds, fennel, coriander, white pepper, cardamom is ground together along with asafoetida / heeng, black salt and coarse sea salt. Turmeric can be added if fresh turmeric is not available.
Making the pickle
Wash and peel the carrots and cut them into 1.5 to two inch batons. Similarly use chilies that are fat, long and not spicy. Deseed them and remove the ribs and cut them also into 1.5 to 2 inch halves or quarters.
Also halve a lime and peel the fresh turmeric and smash it in mortar and pestle or grate it to make a paste.
Heat a pan with some mustard oil and some vegetable oil. When oil is heated add the crushed or grated fresh turmeric followed by carrots and chilies.
Then add the powdered pickling spice and toss around to coat.
Remove to a glass container. Squeeze lime juice. Add a splash of vinegar and mix around and cover and let sit for couple of hours.
You can add red chili powder to the achari masala as well but generally it is not needed as the pickle itself has mild green chilies and the achari masala is very aromatically spicy.
Then just like we did at Our friends Shesha and Guarav place, fry up some bhaturas, makes some chana and enjoy with the side of pickles.
1 to 2 Large Carrot washed and chopped into 1.5 to 2 inch batons
2 to 4 Mild long and thick chilies washed, deseeded and chopped into 1.5 to 2 inch quartered or halved pieces
0.5 inch fresh turmeric washed, peeled and grated or crushed
1 tsp mustard oil
1 tsp vegetable oil
1 fresh lime
2 tsp vinegar
For Spice mix:
0.5 tsp fenugreek seeds
1 tsp fennel seeds
1 tsp yellow or white mustard seeds
2 white peppercorns
0.5 tsp coriander seeds
0.25 tsp black salt
0.5 tsp coarse sea salt
0.5 tsp heeng
Grind the spice mix to a powder
Heat the mustard and vegetable oil till hot.
Add the fresh turmeric followed by carrots and chillies and sauté cooking them a bit.
Add the ground spices
Mix and coat and briefly cook
Make sure to not over cook and take off the heat
Remove to a glass container
Squeeze the fresh lime juice and add the vinegar and mix
Let sit for couple of hours and then refrigerate
Serve within a day as a side for chana bhatura or other rich dishes which can benefit from the richness being cut by pickles