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Rice Fritters or Pakoda (Bhaatachi Bhaji)

21 Jul

Yup, original recipe of my mom. Well, honestly there is nothing really original about it. It is just simple, plain, Indian bhaji(fritters) batter and the leftover rice is dipped in it and fried. So why is it special? Because, it brings back memories. Memories of me being so bored to be told to do my school homework, or told to do some daily chores, or study for the exams and I was always tempted by my mom that she would make these fried delicious bites for me! Who doesn’t love snacks! I couldn’t resist, I got through everything, thanks to my mom and these fritters. I consider them personal comfort food and not something that can be shared in a party or something.  On a rainy day with a cup of tea, they are good, even on gloomy days, even bright sunny days the smell of barbecue or anything fried just makes it a perfect day in summer.

Tip: For a different taste every time, you can vary the additional ingredients by adding chopped spring onion, garlic or ginger or chopped tomatoes or cilantro or shredded coconut, etc.

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All you need:

  1. 1 cup of steamed/boiled/leftover rice
  2. 1 cup Chickpea flour/Besan
  3. 1/4 cup Rice flour
  4. 1/4 tsp Turmeric
  5. 1 tsp Red Chilli powder
  6. 1 Green chilli, finely chopped (I use 2 because I love spicy food)
  7.  1/4 tsp Carom seeds
  8. Salt (as required)
  9. Water
  10.  Ketchup (to serve)
  11. Oil for deep frying

Ready, Set, Go:

  1. Using a little water or oil on the palm of your hands shape balls out of the leftover rice. If the rice is already sticky, do not use water. Set aside.
  2. Prepare the batter by mixing all dry ingredients together and then add water little by little till you form a smooth batter with no lumps.
  3. Heat oil almost till boiling point. Test by dropping in a drop of batter, if it sizzles and comes on top immediately, its ready to fry. Maintain the heat on medium flame.
  4. Dip the balls in the batter using a spoon or if you don’t mind getting messy, get your clean hands in there. Make sure you coat all sides with the batter.
  5. Fry the balls till golden turning once.
  6. Remove on an absorbent paper.
  7. Serve hot with ketchup.

For the batter to make any pakodas, click here.

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Mayonnaise Dip with Yogurt (5 Varieties included)

2 Jun

This is one of my favorite dips. This goes so well with Biryani, fried fish, pakodas, fritters, chips, almost all snacks. Easy as 1, 2, 3 and you can create varieties by mixing and matching a few ingredients. So here goes.

Tip: The fresher the ingredients and cold while serving, better the taste! You can add salt to the dip just before serving or it might sweat and become watery by the time you serve it. I use Greek Yogurt, mine does not sweat.

image

All you need:

  1. 1 tbsp Mayonnaise
  2. 2 tbsp Yogurt
  3. Salt as required
  4. a pinch black pepper powder

Ready, Set, Go:

1) Mix everything together! Keep it in the refrigerator. Pull out just before serving.

2) Mix everything together, add chopped mint. You can also add sugar to this dip. Keep it in the refrigerator. Pull out just before serving.

3) Mix everything together, add sliced onion, sugar and chopped cilantro. Keep it in the refrigerator. Pull out just before serving.

4) Mix everything together, whisk in olive oil and red wine or white wine vinegar. Keep it in the refrigerator. Pull out just before serving. Toss in lettuce and other veggies for a salad and pour the mixture as dressing over the salad.

5) Mix everything together, Keep it in the refrigerator. Pull out just before serving. Add chopped boiled eggs and voila a side dish!

Bread Pakoda (spicy fried bread with potato filling)

16 Oct

A little rain is enough to trigger your taste buds to want something spicy and add to it a cup of tea and you are right up there, even above those dark black thundering clouds! So this was during the rains that I had to experiment a little. I made these pakodas. Although fried, I have read in a book that home-made snack even if it is fried if consumed immediately will not deposit as much fat as other fried stuff does. You should only re-use the remaining oil once. That’s it. Ok, so enough information for the calorie conscious people, and here is the recipe for all you food lovers like me.

Tip: The batter can be used for all types of Pakodas , Bread, Onion, Potato, any other vegetables or even hard cottage cheese.

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All you need:

For the Batter:

1. Chickpea flour/Besan 1 cup

2. Rice flour 1/4 cup

3. Turmeric 1/4 tsp

4. Red Chilli powder 1 tsp

5. Green chilli (finely chopped) – 1 ( I use 2 because I love spice)

6. Carom seeds 1/4 tsp

7. Salt (as required)

8. Water

For the Filling:

1. Potato Boiled and cut into small pieces

2. Mustard Seeds 1 tsp

3. Cumin seeds 1 tsp

4. Turmeric 1/4 tsp

5. Ginger Paste 1 tsp

6. Garlic Paste  1 tsp

7. Green Chilli – 1 finely chopped

8. Cilantro 2 tbsp finely chopped

9. Chaat Masala 1 tsp

10. Oil – 2 tbsp

11. Salt (as required)

Other :

1. Bread Slices – 4

2. Oil for deep frying

Ready, Set, Go:

1. First prepare the filling by heating oil in a pan, add mustard seeds and once they pop add cumin seeds along with ginger garlic paste and saute for 30 seconds.

2. Add chilli, potato, turmeric, chaat masala, cilantro and salt. Combine well. Turn off heat.

3. Now prepare the batter by mixing all dry ingredients together and then add water little by little till you form a smooth batter.

4. Finally cut the bread slices into half in the form of triangles. Place the potato filling on the bread. Press gently.

5. Heat oil almost till boiling point. Test by dropping in a drop of batter, if it sizzles and comes on top immediately, its ready to fry. Maintain the heat on medium flame.

6. Dip the slices in the batter using a spoon or if you don’t mind getting messy, get your clean hands in there. Make sure you coat all sides with the batter.

7.  Fry the slices till golden brown turning once.

8. Remove on an absorbent paper.

9. Serve hot with ketchup or chutney.

P.S : For those who do not know what a Pakoda is, it is a fried snack made out of a batter of gram flour also known as ‘Bhaji’. It is similar to french fries. We can use any sort of veggies and make a Pakoda out of it.

Blintz with a twist

29 Jul

Blintz with a twist

I had seen some advertisement or some program comparing the food with the dish that moms make it and I couldn’t remember the name of this dish. But I was so determined to find out because I remembered some of the ingredients.  I literally sat through the entire afternoon sifting through recipes and useless ads until I bumped onto this name “Blintz”. I am not sure of the origin, but it sounded like a German word. Wikipedia doesn’t mention Germany though, it does mention Russia. As Shakespeare said “What’s in a name?”  I read a lot of recipes but most of them were sweet. I thought of getting an Indian version done. It could be a snack or breakfast. This was the first time I tried it so did not make this one crispy, but I think it could become crispy if done on a lower heat. Try it and let me know.

Tip: You can also replace the fillings with cheese, jams/marmalade(I melted it a little), canned fruits. If you are trying a sweet Blintz make sure you add sugar to the batter and not add any veggies like the onions and garlic. You could also fill in leftover stuff I think as a filling.

All you need:

BATTER-

  1. 2 eggs, beaten well
  2. 1 cup all-purpose flour or maida
  3. 1/2 tsp. salt
  4. 1 cup water

FILLING-

  1. 2 potatoes (peeled, boiled, grated) P.S : You could use just grated raw potatoes too
  2. 1 onion (chopped & sautéed ) P.S : You could use just grated raw onion too
  3. 1 egg hard boiled and mashed into small pieces
  4. Juliennes of ginger or a tsp of ginger garlic paste
  5. 1 finely chopped green chilli
  6. Salt & pepper to taste
  7. Oil for frying

Ready, Set, Go:

  1. Combine all the ingredients for the batter except for the flour, add flour gradually and stir in to make a smooth batter. Make sure you have no lumps.
  2. Mix all ingredients  in a bowl for the filling (For kids, you can just mash everything up in the food processor)
  3. Heat a round 6-7 inch pan and grease it lightly, keeping the heat on medium flame. Pour in the batter in the center and spread it evenly rotating the pan quickly. If you have excess batter pour back into the bowl.
  4. Cook till light golden brown like a pancake. You do not need to cook the other side. Remove it on a separate plate.
  5. Place a tablespoon of filling on the center of the cooked side and fold the sides into a square one by one.
  6. Heat sufficient oil in a pan (I used the same pan after I was finished with cooking the Blintz base).
  7. Fry all the Blintzes one by one until golden on all sides.
  8. Serve with Sour cream.

Kande Pohe

14 Jun

Shree Ganeshaya Namah

This is my first recipe as I have struggled the most with Pohe! One of the easiest once you get a hang of it! The first time I used my imagination and made Pohe, it was a disaster. I ended up drowning the pohe in oil!! I will share two methods; you can choose to follow whichever seems easier. You can add peanuts, potatoes to this dish. Well, first method explains how I do it, you can always add your own creativity. Kande Pohe (Tempered Beaten rice with onions) is the most common dish among Maharashtrians, mostly served at breakfast, it could also be an evening snack. The best combination is Pohe and Tea. My father always served me Pohe topped with shredded coconut, cilantro and a piece of lemon. I cannot forget the days in college when I enjoyed Pohe during rainy season with a green chutney and shev (fried snack made out of different types of flour) on top of it!

Tip: Remember to grab one fistful of poha for each person when soaking poha.

Serves :  2

Method 1 :-

All you need :

1. Poha (Flattened/Beaten rice) 1 cup
2. Onion 1 medium roughly chopped
3. Green Chillies 2-4 or as required
4. Cilantro (kothimbir) leaves chopped
5. Curry leaves 4-6
6. Cumin seeds 1tbsp
7. Mustard Seeds 1 tbsp
8. Turmeric Powder 1/2 tsp

9. Sugar (if desired)

10. Salt (as required)

11. Lemon (for garnishing)

12. Shaved coconut flakes (for garnishing)

Ready, Set, Go:

1. Start with heating a little oil in pan/kadhai, in the meanwhile you can chop the onions, green chillies, keep all the spices and curry leaves ready.

2.  Add the mustard seeds, cumin seeds, chopped green chillies, curry leaves, sauté it for 5-10 seconds and add the chopped onions to it. (Take a colander, wash the poha lightly and set aside till the water drains away)
3. Sauté onions until they are golden, add the turmeric powder and the soaked poha.
4. Mix everything really well. Cook for 5-7 minutes on medium flame.

5. Add salt and sugar.
6. Garnish with chopped cilantro and a piece of lemon. Sprinkle shaved coconut flakes.

Method 2:-

1. Wash the poha in water for a few seconds and drain the water. Set aside for a few minutes. Start chopping onions, chillies, and cilantro.  Add salt and turmeric to poha. Keep it aside.
2. Heat a little oil in pan/kadhai. Add chopped potatoes, cover and cook on medium flame till they become tender, do not add water let them cook on steam.  Take them out. If desired, add peanuts to the same oil and fry it on medium flame till it changes colour. Keep aside.
3. Add the mustard seeds, cumin seeds, chopped green chillies, curry leaves, saute it for 10-15 seconds and add the roughly chopped onions to it.

4. Sauté onions until they are transparent, add the fried potatoes, peanuts and the soaked poha.
5. Mix everything really well, and add the chopped green coriander leaves. Cook for 5-7 minutes on medium flame untill it mixes really well.
6. Serve hot with a dash of lemon juice in it. Sprinkle shaved coconut flakes.

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