Pyaaz ki Pakodi – Crispy Onion Fritters

Every time I visit Hyderabad, I ask my father to get some crispy pyaaz ki pakodi from sweet shops in the city. I just love them. Small sweet shop at almost every corner in Hyderabad sell an array of sweets and also savory snacks.

But when I am in Toronto, missing them, I make these myself in my kitchen trying to replicate them as close as possible to the ones that I get in Hyderabad. I love these pakodi along with tamarind chutney on a rainy day. They also make a yummy Iftaar snack. Sometimes I also enjoy them along with my meal on the side.

Pyaaz ki Pakodi – Crispy Onion Fritters

Ingredients:

Besan – 1 1/2 cups
Rice Flour – 1/4 cup
Green chillies, finely chopped – 8
Ginger – grated, 1/2 tsp
Onions – 2, large, thinly sliced
Olive Oil – 2 tbsp
Curry leaves – 1 or 2 sprigs, roughly chopped
Salt – 3/4 tsp
Pinch of baking soda
Canola Oil for deep frying

Method:

1. In a mixing bowl, add sliced onions, besan, chopped green chillies, curry leaves, salt, olive oil and baking soda. Mix well. Add just 1/4 cup of water and mix well to form a thick-hard batter. Go easy on water as onion and salt release water too.
2. In a kadai or wok, pour oil to deep fry and as soon as it is piping hot, drop small and flattish balls of the batter using your hands into the hot oil. Reduce heat to medium and deep fry till they turn golden brown. Remove using a slotted soon into a large strainer for excess oil to drip away. Continue until all the batter is used up.
Serve hot with chutney/sauce of your choice, along with chai/coffee or juice. I served them with tamarind chutney along with other sides at Iftaar yesterday.

Note:
1. If you want do not want them crisp, omit rice flour and add a little bit more water, to make onion bhajiyas.
2. If you do not want to fry them, you can even shallow fry them in about 2 tbsp per batch in a non-stick frying pan. Make sure you flatten the batter so that they shallow fry evenly. You can even bake them for a healthier version. I have tried baking them a few times and will still continue to do for a few more trials until insha’Allah I come up with a perfect recipe for you all soon.

Luv,
Mona

Aloo aur Tamatoun kay Bhajiye

Cloudy weather and rains call for spicy deep fried snacks in my house. Back when I was in my parents house before marriage, my father’s request would almost always be Aloo ke bhajiye during the rainy season. I miss the monsoons in India. The fragrance of wet mud, the thunders, all I wanted to do was eat spicy bhajiyas along with chutney and a cup of hot chai of coffee during evening while sitting in the verandah. Pure bliss. Here in Toronto, I can enjoy rains while sitting at home only during the spring/summer season, when the air is heavy with the aroma of fresh grass and greenery.

Tamatoun ke bhajiye are my absolute favourite! No chutney or dipping sauce is needed along with these yummy fritters. They are delicious just as they are!

Aloo aur Tamatoun ke bhajiye – Potato and Tomato Fritters

Ingredients:

Firm Red Tomatoes or Potatoes – 5 to 6 (use a few of potatoes or tomatoes if you want them both)
Gram Flour/Besan – 1 1/2 cup
Red chilli powder – 1 1/2 tsp
Salt – to taste
Turmeric powder – 1/4 tsp
Carom seeds/Ajwain – 1/4 tsp
Cumin seeds/Zeera – 1/4 tsp

Method:

For Tomato fritters:
1. Wash the tomatoes, and pat dry. Slice them into medium thick roundels and keep aside. For Potato fritters: Wash and peel the potatoes. Slice them into thin roundels and soak the roundels in a bowl of salted water. Keep aside.
2. Prepare Besan. In a bowl, add the besan, red chilli powder, salt, ajwain and turmeric powder and mix well. Add water, little by little and whisk until the batter is fairly thick and not runny. It should form thick coating around the tomatoes when they are dipped in the batter. Also, there should be no lumps in the batter. Keep aside.
3. Heat oil to deep fry in a kadai or a frying pan. Once the oil is hot, dip the tomato slices into the batter, cover it entirely with the batter, then deep fry. Make sure the tomato slices are completely covered with the batter before dropping it into the hot oil. Deep fry both sides for just a few minutes until golden brown on both sides. Remove into a wire mesh strainer and continue until all are done.

For Potato fritters:
1. Wash and peel the potatoes. Slice them into thin roundels and soak the roundels in a bowl of salted water. Keep aside.
2. Prepare Besan. In a bowl, add the besan, red chilli powder, salt, ajwain and turmeric powder and mix well. Add water, little by little and whisk until the batter is not too thick or too runny. It should form a coating around the potatoes when they are dipped in the batter. Also, there should be no lumps in the batter. Keep aside.
3. Heat oil to deep fry in a kadai or a frying pan. Once the oil is hot, dip the potato slices into the batter, cover it entirely with the batter, then deep fry. Deep fry both sides for just a few minutes until golden brown on both sides. Remove into a wire mesh strainer and continue until all are done.

Enjoy the bhajiye warm along with a cup of hot chai on the side.

I also have an exciting news to share with you all today! My online store – Omee’s Boutique – has been featured in the October 2012 issue of Sisters-Magazine! I am featured on page 92. Very excited about this!! My first International Feature!!!
And to celebrate that, I am offering free shipping on all orders over $30 in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA)! Enjoy and take advantage of this limited time offer!

Luv,
Mona

Dahi Baday – Chickpea Flour Balls in Yogurt

Perhaps one of my favourite Iftaar snacks, for two reasons mainly: awesome taste, and quick preperation time. Make a batter with chickpea flour, deep fry the balls, then add them to yogurt, add a baghaar, and you are done! Simple as that.

Dahi Baday are just a different version of Dahi Wade. Dahi Wade are made with Urad Dal and Dahi Badey are make with Chickpea flour.

If you love Dahi ki Kadi, you will definitely enjoy Dahi Badey.

Dahi Baday – Chickpea Flour Balls in Yogurt

Ingredients:

Chickpea Flour/Gram flour/Besan – 1 cup
Baking Soda – a pinch
Red chilli powder – 2 tsp
Salt – to taste
Turmeric powder – 1/4 tsp
Yogurt – 1 cup
Canola oil
Cilantro – 4 tbsp, finely chopped
For Baghaar/Tempering:
Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
Dried Red chillies – 2-3, each broken into pieces

Method:

1. In a bowl, add chickpea flour and pour in a little water to make a smooth batter. The batter should be thick and pourable in consistency but not thin. Add baking soda, red chilli powder, salt and turmeric powder to the batter and mix.
2. In a separate bowl ,whip yogurt with 1/2 cup of water until smooth. Season with salt and pour this yogurt mixture in a serving tray.
3. Heat oil to deep fry in a pan or kadai. (Never deep fry in a non stick pan). As soon as it is hot, drop spoonfuls of the batter into the hot oil and deep fry them on both sides until they are nicely golden brown in colour. Remove with a slotted spoon to a plate lined with paper towel. The baday are ready.
4. Drop them into yogurt mixture. Make sure that the baday are well coated with yoghurt.
5. Prepare tempering by heating the oil in a small pan and add the ingredients in the list. When the mustard seeds and dried red chillies splutter, pour the sizzling tempering over the baday in yogurt. Allow to soak for an hour after tempering. After an hour serve the baday on individual plates, garnish with chopped cilantro and sprinkle of chaat masala on each of the vada.

This recipe is my contribution to my very onw Hyderabadi Ramadan Food Festival 2012 (Season IV) that I hosting on my blog, and also to the Joy From Fasting ToFeasting – V that Lubna is hosting on her blog.

Luv,
Mona

Bund Gobi kay Pakoday

Its been drizzling here since the last few days, bringing everything that was in sleep back to life.

Frozen Moment #6 – April Showers

I was craving for some deep fried pakodas. During a recent visit to the grocery market, I had bought a beautiful green cabbage which was lying the refrigerator waiting to be cooked up into something delicious. It was so large that after making some gobi gosht for the meal, there was enough left to make a few pakodas.

cabbage batter

We enjoyed them along with tea in the evening today.

Bund Gobi kay Pakoday ~ Cabbage Fritters
(Note: Cabbage is called as Bund Gobi or Patta Gobi in Urdu language)

Ingredients:

Thinly Sliced Cabbage – 4 cups
Ajwain – 2 tsp
Red chilli powder – 2 tsp
Salt – to taste
Turmeric powder – 1/4 tsp
Besan – 1 cup
Corn fluor/Rice flour – 1/4 cup
Water – 1/2 cup

band gobi kay pakoday ~ cabbage fritters

Method:

In a mixing bowl, add all the ingredients and mix well using hands. Heat oil to deep fry in a kadai. Once the oil is hot, gently drop small amounts of mixture using your fingers into the hot oil. Deep fry them on both sides until golden brown in color. Using a slotted spoon remove into a paper towel lined platter or into a wire mesh strainer for the the excess oil to drip away. Enjoy the pakoday along with chutney.

Luv,
Mona

Besan ke Murkul

I have been enjoying some winter treats from the past few days, first~a light and delicious Pumpkin halwa, then some spicy Besan ke Murkul.

Murkul, or Murukul, are delicious savories that are made with rice flour, or lentil flour or gram flour, etc. There exist various varieties of this crunchy snack. This variety of Murkul is easy to prepare, doesn’t require a lot of ingredients, and at the same time, satisfying.  They are usually prepared at home and stored in air-tight containers for eating. They are also available ready made in Indian stores.

murkul press, with various attachments for different shapes of the murkul

To prepare these savory addictive crunchy snacks at home, special molds are required to press the dough into desired shape into the hot oil to be deep fried. These molds are inexpensive and are available at Indian stores and called as ‘Murkul press’ or ‘Murukku press’. These molds come along with many attachments for different shapes for the murkul. Today I have used the star shaped attachment.

Besan Murkul – Savory Crunchy Gram flour Coils
Makes- about 20 Murkul

Ingredients:

Gram flour/Besan – 3 cups
Cumin seeds – 3 tbsp
Red chilli powder – 1 1/2 tsp
Salt – 2 tsp
Ginger-garlic paste – 2 tbsp
Water – 2/3 cup
Canola oil – to deep fry

Murkul, along with a cup of warm tea on a gloomy autumnal afternoon

Method:

1. Heat oil to deep fry in a kadai.
2. In a mixing bowl, add all the above ingredients and mix thoroughly to form a sticky dough like paste.
3. Fill the murkul press with the prepared dough and press into hot oil forming coils. You will get the hang of it with practice. Deep fry a few murkul at a time in the kadai until browned on both sides. Remove using slotted spoon onto a paper towel lined platter. Repeat until all the dough is used up. Once they are all completely cooled, transfer them to an air-tight container to store. Serve as snack.

Tip: Grease the back of the slotted spoon with oil, and press the dough using the mold into circular ring. To fry the murkul, gently invert the spoon over hot oil so that the murkul drops into the oil in perfect shape.

Luv,
Mona