Namakpaare – Triangular Crispy Salty Munchies

One of my most fond memories whenever I think of Namakpaare of eat them is the way my mom used to offer them to us as a quick snack. There always used to be something on our dining table during my childhood, something yummy, a delicious snack. I remember my mom used to spend a better part of her time daily in the kitchen, toiling away to keep us content, to keep us nourished and full.

Namakpaare are triangular deep fried crispy salty snacks that can be made ahead and stored at room temperature in air tight containers. A simple and delightful snack. A sweet version of the same is called as Shakkarpaare, which I had posted about a while ago.

Ammi (as I call my mom) used to offer us namakpaare mixed in a cup of warm khatti dal. You might be surprised at this unusual combination. But it always worked, and so wonderfully. I always loved to eat namakpaare soaked in khatti dal and I have fond memories of it. It is comfort food for me. When I gave my dear husband namakpaare the same way, he enjoyed them too.

Namakpaare – Triangular Crispy Salty Munchies

Ingredients:

Durum Flour – 3 cups
Carom Seeds/Ajwain – 1/2 tbsp
Salt to taste
Water – as needed
Oil to deep dry

Method:

1. In a mixing bowl add flour , ajwain, salt a tsp of oil. Mix with your hands. Add water as needed to form a stiff dough. Cover the dough in the bowl with a damp towel. Let the dough rest for 1/2 an hour.

2. Later shape the dough into a log. Cut the log into pieces. Roll Each dough piece into balls between your palms.

Using a rolling pin, roll each ball into a disk, not very thin, neither thick. Using a pizza cutter, cut into 1/2 inch strips lengthwise and then 1/2 inch across to get diamond shaped pieces. Do the same with rest of the dough.

3. Heat oil to deep fry in a kadhai/wok and deep fry the namakpaare on medium heat. Fry till golden on both sides. Continue frying in batches until all the dough in used.

4. Store the namakpaare after they completely cooled down in an airtight container. They stay fresh for weeks.

Luv
Mona

Chicken Tikka Pizza

A while back I got a request from hubby dear that I am not preparing specials that often as I used to before babyjaan happened.

Chicken Tikka Kawabs – Murgh Tikka

So one weekend I adorned my chef hat and got onto making something especially to please him. I had prepared chicken tikka a day earlier and there was some leftover. The idea to make a pizza immediately popped in my mind and I am glad he thoroughly enjoyed what I made for him.

Chicken Tikka Pizza

Ingredients:

All purpose flour – 4 cups
Yeast – 1 packet – 7 gms
Warm water – to make a dough
Salt – 2 tsp
Sugar – 1 tsp
Olive oil – 4 tbsp
(Store-bought) Pasta Sauce [or] Tomato Chutney – 3/4 cup
Sun dried tomatoes – 1/2 cup, cut into small pieces
Chicken Tikka – 1 cup, cut into small pieces
Green/Red Bell Peppers – 1/2 cup,
Green Olives – 1/2 cup, sliced
Mozzarella Cheese – grated, 1 cup

Method:

1. In a cup of warm water, add one packet of yeast and mix using a spoon. Add salt and sugar and a cup of flour and mix to make a wet dough. Pour olive oil all over the dough. Cover with a wet towel and keep aside for an hour. Later you will notice that the dough has almost doubled in size.
2. Add the remaining flour to the dough and add water as needed to make a soft dough. Do not work the dough a lot. Mix it lightly ans make sure it is soft. Let it rest for 30 minutes while you prepare the toppings.
3. Preheat oven to 450 F.

4. Line a large rimmed baking sheet using waxed paper. Dust lightly with flour all over it. Drop the ball of dough over it and working with your fingers spread the dough so that it completely covers the entire baking sheet. Slather the pizza with the pasta sauce or chutney whatever you are using, then add all the toppings spreading them all over the dough. Lastly add the grated cheese and transfer the baking sheet into the oven. Your pizza will be ready in about 20 minutes.

For Thin crust pizza: use a rolling pin and roll the dough to achieve the thinness you want. Then transfer the rolled dough to a baking sheet and add the toppings.

FREEZE: To freeze, set dough balls on a plate (they should not touch); freeze until firm, about 1 hour. Then freeze in a resealable freezer bag for up to 3 months. If you plan to use it in a recipe that calls for half a batch, divide it before freezing. Thaw overnight in refrigerator.

Luv,
Mona

Murgh Samosa – Chicken Samosa

This Ramadan I am addicted to my sisters handmade chicken samosas.

Murgh Samosa – Chicken Samosa

Seriously they are the best I have even eaten. And they are super simple to make. You can make ahead the chicken filling which gets ready quicky and just before iftaar, use the samosa wraps, fill them all up and deep fry.

Murgh Samosa – Chicken Samosa

Ingredients:

Chicken Breast Meat – Minced – 2 lbs
Red Chilli Powder – 2 tsp
Salt – to taste
Turmeric powder – 1/4 tsp
Ginger garlic paste – 2 tsp
Garam masala – 1 tsp
Juice of 2 lemons
Cilantro and Mint – finely chopped, 3 tbsp
Egg white from one large egg
Frozen Samosa wraps
Canola oil to deep fry

Method:
1. In a pan, add oil and as soon as it is warm, add the chicken mince, red hilli powder, salt, turmeric powder and giniger garlic paste. Mix it all together, cover, and keep stirring once in a while and let it cook until the chicken is done, about 20 minutes.  Add lemon juice, ciantro and mint and garam masala and mix. Keep aside, and let it cool. You can even freeze it for future use in small portions. Just thaw for a few hours before you plan to make the samosas.
2. Thaw the frozen samosa wraps according to instructions. Brush some water on both sides of the wraps to make it pliable. Form a cone by making triangular folds as you till you have only fold left. In the cone section, spoon the filling. Seal the final flap using water and flour paste to seal the edges. Watch out for open corners and seal using the flour paste. Repeat for all wraps.
3. In a large pan, heat oil on high. Reduce the flame to medium when the oil is hot.
4. In a bowl, add the egg white and just lightly whip it using a fork. Dip each samosa into the egg white and drop it into the hot oil. Repeat using all samosas. Using a slotted spoon remove the samosa from oil into a mesh strainer once they are golden brown on all sides. Enjoy the samosa along with your favorite chutney or as is.

Note: You can also bake the samosas instead of deep frying them. Just lightly coat them all with a little bit of oil, and bake them for 10-12 mins at 350°F until golden brown. You can also skip them step of dipping them in egg white if you prefer so.

This recipe is my contribution to my very own 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

Panjeri

Life has ever so been wonderful and oh so busy since babyjaan happened. Days seem to be flowing without me even noticing them. But my little chickadee has given me a reason to look forward to each new day and my life has a now a meaning alhamdulillah. Motherhood has indeed been a blessing alhamdulillah. I am happy to resume blogging, I missed you all.

I havent been cooking much lately, other than quick one dish meals or semi home made dinners. A baby changes your routines in ways you might not have even imagined. MIL was handling most of the cooking during my postpatrum days. Now that both my MIL and FIL have left, I am back to cooking meals daily. My mom had been after me to prepare and eat Panjeri as soon as she was born. Panjeri is made of rich and beneficial food products such as dry fruits and nuts and is meant for post partum and lactating women, traditionally prepared in our family and eaten by new mothers. Panjeri is also given to young girls.

The quantities of the amount of nuts and dry fruits used in the recipe can be altered according to your desires. I love almonds, so I have used more of them here. I am not sure what Kangi ke beenj are referred to in english language.

Panjeri

Ingredients:

Edible Gum – 100 gms
Cashewnuts – 150 gms
Pinenuts – 100 gms
Walnuts – 100 gms
Pistachios – 100 gms
Almonds – 350 gms
Raisins – 100 gms
Kangi ke beenj – 30 gms
Chironji – 20
Phool Makhana/Lotus Seeds – 40 gms
Granulated Sugar – 100 gms (or) Misri [both according to taste, add more if you want it sweeter]
Ghee – to fry

Method:

Shallow each ingredient one by one except misri in 1 -2 tbsp ghee in a frying pan or a cast iron skillet for 2-5 minutes and then transfer to a platter. Edible gum once fried changes from a translucent color to white color like popcorn. After all have been shallow fried, let them cool to room temperature. Later transfer them all to a food processor. Add misri and process until the whole thing is granular, need not be too fine. Transfer to a storage container or a canister and store in the refrigerator. Post partum and lactating women should eat about 1-2 tablespoon of this everyday.

Sending this recipe to Ayeesha’s Healthy Morsels Pregnancy

Luv,
Mona

Pudina aur Khopra ki Chutney

I simply adore mint leaves. Its clean citrusy taste, refreshing aroma and artistic curly rich green colored leaves, all make me fall in love with it over and over again. I wait for spring/summer time every year so as to plant mint outdoors in pots. It grows easily and vigorously once established and provides me with fresh leaves all summer.

Mint from my garden

The Arabic name for mint is ‘nanaa’. The mint from the holy city of Madinah is famous for its strong and wonderful aroma. During visits to Madinah one can see people selling fresh mint leaves at every corner. The mint is kept fersh covered under wet hessian cloths. Mint that doesnt get sold is dried under the hot sun and sold. People of Madinah enjoy mint as a mouth refreshner, or in teas or in their food.

Clockwise from top: Mint leaves, Dessicated Coconut, Phulay Chane

The below verison is a mild chutney with use of phulay chane and coconut in it. I enjoy this chutney along with idli, dosa, evening snacks, or as a dipping sauce for sandwiches.

Pudina aur Khopra ki Chutney – Mint and Coconut Chutney

Phulay Chane – 1/8 cup
Dessicated Coconut/Khopra – 1/4 cup
Roasted Cumin seed/Zeera powder – 1/4 tsp
Small Green Chillies/Hari mirch – 4-5, chopped
Tamarind – walnut sized seedless ball (or) Lemon/Lime juice – 2 tbsp
Fresh Mint leaves/Pudina – 1 cup
Salt – to taste
Ginger – 1/4 inch piece
Garlic – 2 pods
Tempering/Baghaar:
Canola oil – 2 tbsp
Mustard seeds/Rai – 1/2 tsp
Dried red chillies/Baghaar ki mirch – 2, each broken into small pieces
Curry leaves – 4-5, chopped

Method:

1. In a blender, add the first nine ingredients. Pour in a little bit of water to aid in the grinding process and grind until smoothly pureed. Pour the prepared chutney into a serving bowl.
2. Prepare baghaar/tempering: In a pan at medium high heat, pour oil and as soon as it warms up add the mustard seeds, broken dried red chillies and chopped curry leaves. Immediately remove from heat and pour this baghaar hot and hissing into the chutney and mix well. Serve along with your favorite snacks. Store the left over if any in the refrigerator for upto a week.

On a different note, Megha from the ‘Food Food Maha Challenge Muqabla’ show that will be telecast on Food food channel had contacted me as they are looking for participants. She says:

“The show is about the competition between male and female cooks and Madhuri Dixit willl be representing the female cook and Sanjeev Kapoor will represent the male cook.The judge of the show is Mr. Sanjeev Kapoor . If any one is interested you can call on 02242769017 between 11 am to 6 pm.
The auditions dates are:
8th July Mumbai
10th July Nagpur
14th July Delhi
17th July Kolkata
20th july Hyderabad
You can also drop a mail at foodfood.mahachallengemuqabla@gmail.com”

This is a great opportunity to participate in a cooking show. If any one is interested, do contact her.

Luv,
Mona