Matar Kachori – Spiced green peas stuffed into flaky deep fried dough

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Hello my Dear Wonderful Readers!!

How have you all been? it’s been so long right? I am not sure where I have to begin but let me tell you, the feeling you get when you make something for the blog and then the thrill of taking photos, oh I missed that!

It’s been a busy few weeks, it all started with my son spilling water over the mac book and leaving me handicapped for a  week. LOL. We were on the breakfast table going on about our normal everyday morning routine and suddenly all you remember is he was playing peek-a-boo and wuussshhh !! there was water all over the key pad. You know I have this routine where I wake up early just to make sure I can have a nice cup of green tea all alone and maybe blog too. But that day, both my son and the husband decided to wake up earlier than usual and everything went downhill from there!!

Anyways after paying  a hefty sum at the apple store they returned the mac to us, with a new key pad and all. Thank god. It was during that week that we took a quick trip, just the husband and me and oh how I have missed being a girl! You know what I mean, after we got married, and the house  and the baby, I haven’t had the time to think about anything else! I am sure if you are a mother too, you would understand. For a few days, I woke up whenever I wanted, I did not have to worry about making food or dealing with clutter or anything! just a few days and trust me all that it does it REJUVENATES YOU!!

Anyway after we got back, it was a week full of rains and Bengaluru was cloudy all the time! The true ‘Bangalore’ that I “oh-so longed for” during the sweltering heat the last couple of weeks. So that is when I decided it would be nice to make HOT HOT Kachoris! Now before you say that these are unhealthy cause they are deep fried, here is something you should know. I never make deep fried stuff at home and when I do, I make sure it’s not just for the three people here, I SHARE! 😛 So that means I always make a very small batch of these and I always make sure I share.

These Kachoris are flaky and crispy on the outside, and stuffed with spices and peas on the inside. There are many variations of the Kachori. You can fill them with onions, potatoes, different types of Dals ( lentils) etc. This is the basic version that incorporates greek peas, spices and I added caramelised onions (cause I love the taste of caramelised onions with flaky dough)! Traditionally served with a sweet tamarind chutney and a mint and coriander chutney these deep fried crispy Kachori’s are best enjoyed with your evening tea. (I usually serve it with coffee but you get the idea right!)

Also make sure you finish them right away or at least store them in air tight containers, but for the best experience, serve them just as you take them out of the oil!

 

Ingredients for the pastry :-

  1. Maida/ Flour – 1 cup
  2. Whole wheat Flour – 1 cup
  3. Salt – 1.4 tsp
  4. Baking Powder – 1.2 tsp
  5. Water – 1/2 cup ( or just enough to make a nice tight dough)
  6. Oil – 3 tbsp

 

Instructions for the pastry :-

  1. In a large bowl, add all the flour, whole wheat flour, baking powder, salt and give it a good mix with a whisk
  2. Then add the oil and mix with your hand till the flour resembles bread crumbs
  3. Now slowly add water, a little at a time to make a nice tight dough ( water may also increase or decrease depending on how fresh your flour is)
  4. Try not to over work the dough ( like you would do when you make bread) This will ensure that you have a nice flaky crust
  5. Once the dough comes together to form a nice ball, cover with a damp cloth and set aside to rest ( 10- 15 mins)
  6. Mean while you can get ready with the filling

 

Ingredients for the filling :

  1. Green peas – 250 gms ( I used the frozen kind but any would do)
  2. Onions – 1/2 cup ( finely sliced)
  3. Oil – 2 tbsp
  4. Asafoetida –  one pinch
  5. Ginger – 1 tsp ( paste)
  6. Chilli Powder – 1 tsp
  7. Turmeric Powder – 1/4 tsp
  8. Garam Masala – 1 tsp
  9. Coriander Powder – 1 tsp
  10. Raw Mango Powder/ Amchur Powder – 1 tsp ( heap)
  11. Jeera/ Cumin – 1 tsp
  12. Sauf / Fennel Seeds – 1 tsp
  13. Salt – 1 tsp  (or according to taste)

 

Instructions:-

  1. In a non stick pan, add oil. Once the oil is hot add the cumin seeds and Asafoetida. As soon as they begin to sizzle add the onions and fry till golden brown
  2. Then add ginger, chilli powder, turmeric powder, garam masala power, coriander powder and give it a good mix
  3. Next add the green peas.Stir well to ensure that the green peas are coated well with the spice mix
  4. Lastly add the fennel seeds and salt
  5. Cook till there is no water and the  mixture is dry
  6. Set aside to cool down
  7. Now if you want you could use the back of a spoon to mash up the peas so its is easier in the next step but I usually leave it like that so you get to bite into the green peas

 

Final assembling and frying the Kachoris :-

  1. Now take your dough that has been resting for so long. Divide it into 6 – 7 equal halves and roll into small balls
  2. Slowly roll out each of these balls into small coins (around 10 – 15 cms in diameter)
  3. Then using a spoon, add the cooled green peas mix to the centre of the rolled out coin
  4. Now slowly, bring the ends of the coin together to make a nice dumpling. ( the same technique you would use to make momos or stuffed parathas)
  5. Make sure you get all the ends together and there is not what your stuff will spill out
  6. Now place the dumpling back on your counter and slowly press down to flatten in out into small discs
  7. Again you wanna be very gentle with it so you do not have the stuffing tearing through the dough
  8. Once you have done this will all the balls, you are ready to fry them
  9. Pour enough oil into a deep dish to ensure that the dish is covered at least 70 %
  10. Turn the flame on to medium high. These kachoris are not fried on high heat, so make sure the flame is at medium high
  11. Now slowly add the flattened discs maybe 2 or three at a time ( do not over clutter or you will bring the temperature of the oil down and then it will take longer to cook and they might not puff up as required)
  12. Fry the kachoris till they are nice and golden brown and then set on a kitchen paper to absorb all the oil
  13. You kachoris are ready! Serve right away with sweet and sour tamarind chutney or mint and coriander chutney

 

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Whole wheat Pav and Bhaji – Indian Street food

 

Hello my Dear Wonderful Readers!

How are you all doing? This week has been a week full of Indian food and I am in love with how my home smells like whole spices. It’s like you walked into a typical Kerala Restaurant that serves “Meen Curry” and “Kappa”. That reminds me, I need to buy some fish, this Malayali has been living for way too long without fish.

So I peeped into my fridge yesterday and it looked like some one else lived in my house for a week! NO really! I have no idea how I landed with half a head of cauliflower, 3 carrots and a few beans at the bottom of my vegetable tray. So obviously that wasn’t enough to make one separate dish with, then I decided to make a ‘kichidi’. Simply add some rice, dal and chop up all of the remaining vegetables in the fridge and put it all into a pressure cooker, give it 4 whistles and there it is! But then I had to remind my self that no one in my house was ill so why put the entire family through the horror of eating what resembles what my infant son would have had a few months ago?? So thats when I realised we could also add a few more vegetables and turn this into something everybody loves. Pav Bhaji. I am quite sure that this dish was invented by some one who wanted to clean their fridge out too! :p

Now the “Pav” part, that is the fun part. Cause its about making and baking the bread. I mean what is more relaxing than kneading dough, playing peek-a-boo with my son when the dough rises and that smell, ahh, that smell of sweet yeast when it bakes! yay!! So many people have a love affair with Indian spices, but for me, my best friend’s in my kitchen are “Yeast” and “Butter” These two ingredients make magic.

Now let me give you the definition of Pav Bhaji. Pav Bhaji is the ultimate balanced meal. Bread = good, tomatoes = good, potatoes = good, all the other vegetables = good, butter = excellent , spices = oh yeah!!

So this my friend is what I considered healthy street food.  You do need to buy the Masala from the shop. You can make it your self too, but no I do not know the recipe to that and I am not going to bother making it. Cause every shop has it! Like I just had to go to the shop that sells loose cigarettes and tic tacs and even they have it 😛 So do try it out and let me know how it goes. Btw people are going to tell you how you can add beetroots and raw bananas and al that, I say, try it like this and the next time go ahead and add your additions! Hey the world is your oyster!! And yeah I made my Pav with whole wheat flour just cause I think its healthier.

 

How to make ze  “Pav” / Bread

Ingredients :- 

  1. Whole Wheat Four – 2 cups
  2. Yeast – 2 tsp
  3. Milk – 1 cup ( warm)
  4. Water – 3 tbsp (warm)
  5. Sugar – 3 tsp
  6. Oil – 3 tbsp
  7. Salt – 1tsp

Instructions :-

  1. In a cup add the water and sugar. Stir to combine. Then add the yeast and set aside to foam
  2. While the yeast is feeding on the sugar, pour the flour and salt into the bowl of your stand mixer and fix the dough hook
  3. In another cup, add the milk and oil and give it a nice stir
  4. Now once you see the yeast has foamed well turn your mixer on and slowly add the yeast + water mixture
  5. Then add the milk + oil mixture and crank the speed up to medium and let the dough mix till it form a nice sticky ball
  6. While that happens, grease a nice big glass bowl and set aside
  7. Once the dough is ready, plop it onto a flour dusted counter and knead with your hand for 5 mins
  8. Then drop the dough into your greased glass bowl and set to rest
  9. You want the dough to double in volume and this could take 1 – 2 hours depending on how hot or cold your room is
  10. Once the dough has risen, punch the dough down wards to release the air and then roll out the dough into a nice long log. Then cut the log into 9 equal parts ( 9 coins)
  11. Prepare your baking tin with oil or butter and set aside
  12. Now roll these 9 coins into balls and set against each other as shown in the photos. Leave space between the balls cause they are going to sit for another 20 – 30 mins for a second rise
  13. Once you have all your balls roll out and into the pan, cover the pan with a warm wet towel and let it set in a warm place
  14. Pre heat your oven to 200C
  15. After 30 mins you will see that the balls have risen again. Take off the cloth and brush the top of the balls and sides of the pan with oil ( you could use butter too)
  16. Pop the tray into the oven and bake for 30 – 40 mins or till you see the top of the pav/ bread become nice and golden brown
  17. When you tap the bread it will sound like a hard knock but that’s just the crust.
  18. Take the pan out of the oven and set aside to cool
  19. Then take them out of the tray and cut into 9 pieces. Your Pav is ready!

 

How to make the “Bhaji”

Ingredients:  –

  1. Potatoes – 200 gms (cleaned, skinned and chopped)
  2. Cauliflower – 300 gms (cleaned and chopped to medium flowerets)
  3. Carrots – 200 gms (cleaned, peeled and chopped into bite size pieces)
  4. Peas – 100 gms (I used the frozen kind)
  5. Capsicum – 200 gms
  6. Beans – 200 gms
  7. Onions – 300 gms (chopped fine)
  8. Ginger Garlic Paste – 1 heap tbsp
  9. Cumin Seeds – 1 tsp
  10. Tomatoes – 250 gms (chopped fine)
  11. Coriander Leaves – ½ cup (chopped fine)
  12. Salt – to taste
  13. Pav Bhaji Masala – 3 tbsp
  14. Chili Powder – 2 tbsp (according to taste)
  15. Water – 3 -4 cups (depending on the vessel)

Instructions :-

  1. Firstly you wanna make sure that all your vegetables are of the same size, so that way they take the same time to cook
  2. In your pressure cooker add potatoes, cauliflower, carrots, peas, capsicum and beans. Pour as much water as required to soak the vegetables. Add 1 tsp of salt and cook for 3 whistels. If you do not have a cooker, just boil the vegetables till they are nicely cooked and mash-able
  3. While that happens, in a large kadai, heat oil and when the oil is hot add the cumin seeds. Add the chopped onions as soon as the cumin seeds begin to pop
  4. Fry the onions till they are pink, then add the ginger garlic paste and fry till the raw smell disappears
  5. Next add the chopped tomatoes to the onion garlic mix and fry for a minute. Then add the chilli powder and the pav bhaji masala and fry till you see oil leaving the sides of the mixture
  6. By this time your vegetables should be ready. Take them off the stove and mash the vegetable with a potato masher or the back of a nice big spoon. I like to bite little bits of potato and peas so I do not mash it all the way
  7. Now add the mashed vegetable to the tomato onions fry in the kadai and give it a nice mix

Beetroot Falafel with a “Ragda” Curry / Zero Oil

 

 

 

 

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When we got back from our holiday, we came back to the reality that we haven’t been eating healthy. Now ‘health’ is a very subjective word, cause what is ‘healthy’ for you may or may not be ‘healthy’ for me. A young child like my baby boy needs his daily dose of high calorie food, starch, carbs and proteins. Older people such as Mr R and I , do not need the same kind of food. So keeping that in mind, we decided to go easy over the week. We decided to reduce fried food, reduce oil and alter the type of oil we use in cooking and reduce the about of gluten we eat. That basically translates to no more fast food from the place down the road and no more pizza night! But it has also helped me dig deep within to find healthier ways to make every day food taste just as good. Trust me, some food can be made the same and you do not need ghee or cream or maida to make them taste good. So I think I will start a new tab on my blog and call it “My husband’s lunch box” and I will post all my recipes that I create for him that involve no oil or less oil and less or no sugar. Do let me know if you think that is a good idea :).

Ok now this recipe is inspired by the famous “Ragda Patties” of Mumbai. When in Mumbai we have had it so many times and I just love it! But the original dish is made with an “Aloo Tikki”- a potato cutlet fried in oil and then served along with “Pav” – bread. I decided to change the recipe a little as I did not want the oil both in the patty and in the curry. Also I used beetroot instead of potato as they are healthier.

Before using it in the recipe, I boiled the beetroot in a pressure cooker ( gave it 4 whistles) and drained the water out. The water was then used to make my baby boy’s rice. Another change we made in our diet was switching to organic red rice. Red rice does take a little longer to cook, so my mum suggested to soak it over night, and yes it made a big difference. I will write up post about how and why you should try red rice! Personally I love it’s taste too!

Ok so on to the recipe.

Baked Beetroot Falafel

Ingredients :-

  1. Beetroot – 3 medium size ( cleaned, skin removed, cut into halves, boiled for 4 whistles)
  2. Corriander  seeds – 1 tsp
  3. Garam Masala Powder – 1 tsp
  4. Chilli Powder – 1/2 tsp
  5. Parsley Leaves – 1 tbsp ( chopped)
  6. Coriander Leaves – 1 tsp ( chopped)
  7. Onions – 1/2 cup (chopped)
  8. Whole Wheat flour – 2 – 3 tbsp ( depends on how soft the beetroot is)
  9. Salt – to taste

Instructions :-

  1. Pre Heat your oven to 180 and line a baking tray with baking paper
  2. In a bowl drop the boiled beet roots and mash till nice and soft ( like play doh)
  3. Then add all the other ingredients except the Whole wheat flour
  4. Make sure to mix all the content of the bowl well to ensure the spices have mixed well and evenly along with the beets
  5. Finally sprinkle the whole wheat flour into the bowl a little at a time. The flour should help you form one big ball of the beetroot and masala
  6. Slowly roll out small bite size balls of the beetroot and place on the baking tray ( as in pic)
  7. Once your are done rolling them all out pop them into the oven and bake till nice and golden
  8. As there is no oil you will have the watch and listen. Once they begin to sizzle let them stay for another  5 – 10 mins and then take them out
  9. This should take between 15- 25 mins ( depends on how thick you roll out the balls)
  10. Finally let them cool off before storing in an air tight container

While the falafel is baking we can make our ” Ragda ” / White Pea Curry

Ingredients :-

  1. White Peas – 1 cup ( soaked over night)
  2. Onions – 1 cup ( chopped)
  3. Tomato – 1/2 cup (chopped_
  4. Turmeric Powder – 1/4 tsp
  5. Chilli Powder – 1 tsp
  6. Ginger Garlic Paste – 1/2 tsp
  7. Asafoetida – a pinch
  8. Salt  – to taste

Instructions :-

  1. In a pressure cooker, add drained white peas , water, turmeric powder and 1 tsp salt
  2. Close the lid and let the peas cook for about 4 whistles. Some times it might take longer
  3. Heat a non stick pot / kadai and add onions. Saute till nice and pink. Then add ginger- garlic paste and asafoetida
  4. Once the mixture has fried and the raw smell had subsided add tomatoes and chilli powder
  5. Finally add the cooked white peas with the water and let the mixture cook for 10 mins
  6. Stir the bubbling mixture occasionally
  7. Your curry is ready

To Assemble –

Ingredients :-

  1. Onions – 1 cup chopped
  2. Tomato – 1 cup chopped
  3. Coriander Leaves – 1 cup chopped
  4. Mint Chutney – as required
  5. Sev – optional
  6. Pav – optional

Serve as in photos 🙂

Enjoy !!!

Menasinakai Bajji / Green Chilli Fritters

 

 

 

 

 

Hello my wonderful readers! How have you all been? I have ben down with a horrible fever and cold again! and this time it resulted in a horrible syncs attack too! argue. As I type out this post I have a big box of tissues near me and a hot mug of rassam. Now that is why I haven’t ben able to cook or post anything this week.

Tomorrow is Onam! My little baby is going to celebrate his first Onam and I am so excited! I can’t wait to go to my moms place for all the good food. I will try to take a few photos of the spread.

Till then I would like to share the recipe for this hot hot green chili fritter.

Ingredients :-

  1. Banana green Chilli – 10 – 15( slit vertically)
  2. Gram Flour – 2 cups
  3. Water – 1 cup
  4. Chilly Powder – 1 tsp ( or according to taste)
  5. Cooking Soda – just a pinch
  6. Ginger Garlic Paste – 1/2tbsp
  7. Salt – according to taste
  8. Oil – for frying

Instructions:-

  1. Mix gram flour , chilly powder, soda, ginger – garlic paste together in a bowl
  2. Then add water little at a time. Make a nice thick paste. Just enough to coat the chilli when dipped into it ( it shouldn’t be runny)
  3. Then add salt and taste the batter to make sure you have enough there
  4. Now heat oil in a khadai or a heavy bottom wok
  5. Now dip the chillies individually into the flour batter and fry till nice and golden brown
  6. Let them sit on a kitchen towel or tissue paper to drain out the excess oil
  7. Serve hot with chilly chutney or tomato sauce