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

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

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

Aloo kay Samosay

Chai shops, bakeries, mithaiwala shops, cart vendors, chat bhandars along the length and breadth of the Indian subcontinent, all sell these magical pastries. Originated and traveled to India possibly from the Middleeast, Samosas are triangular pastries, a popular street food, usually stuffed with minced meat, or a potato mixture. They are the usual appetizers that make their presence at the Nizami Hyderabadi meals, and also enjoyed throughout India and also all over the world by everyone. Samosas are also very famous in Toronto and loved by people here.

Samosas – ready to be eaten

This classic Indian snack food appears in different avatars and types within the Hyderabad city, and also all over India with minor regional variations, some differing in the fillings used, others varying in shapes. For example Luqmi, a rectangular qimah-minced meat stuffed appetizer commonly eaten in Hyderabad, is a royal cousin of samosa. Other regional variants of samosas include the sambusak, samusak or shingara etc.

Today I had prepared some aloo samosas~potato stuffed pastries that are just as good as the Qimah Samosas – minced meat stuffed samosas. You can even bake them if you wish, bit I like to deep fry and prepare them the way they were supposed to be made. The crisp outer texture of samosa is what I love the most.

Aloo kay Samosay – Potato Stuffed Triangular Pastries

Ingredients:

Canola Oil to deep fry
For Filling:
Canola oil – 2 tbsp
Cumin seeds – 1 tsp
Black mustard seeds – 1 tsp
Fresh Ginger – 1 tbsp, finely grated
Potatoes – 4, peeled and chopped
Carrot – peeled and chopped, 1 cup
Red chilli powder – 1 tsp
Dry roasted Coriander powder – 3/4 tsp
Dry roasted Cumin seed powder – 1/4 tsp
Kasuri methi – 3 tbsp
Salt – 1 tsp
Frozen green peas – 1/2 cup (or) Dried green peas – 1/2 cup, soak them in surplus water overnight and pressure cook until soft the next day, drain and keep aside to use
Lemon juice – 4 tbsp
Garam masala – 1/2 tsp
Cilantro – 2 tbsb, finely chopped
For Covering:
All-purpose flour/Maida – 1 cup
Whole wheat flour/Durum flour – 1 cup
Carom seeds/Ajwain – 1 tsp
Nigella seeds/Kalonji – 1/2 tsp
Canola Oil or Ghee – 2 tbsp
Water
Salt to taste

Method:

1. In a saucepan, heat oil and as soon as it warms up add the cumin seeds, mustard seeds and ginger and let them splutter. In a few seconds add the chopped potatoes and carrots. Add water to cover the vegetables and add red chilli powder, salt, cumin seed powder, kasuri methi and cover with a lid. As soon as the potatoes are done, uncover and add the frozen peas or cooked dried peas, garam masala, chopped cilantro and lemon juice. Cook while stirring until the mixture is dry. Keep aside.

2. Now prepare the dough. Add maida, ajwain, kalonji and salt in a mixing bowl and mix. Add canola oil or ghee and mix well using fingers. Gradually add water and knead to form a smooth and pliable dough. Turn the dough onto a floured work surface and knead until elastic. Cover with a towel and keep aside for 30 minutes for the dough to rest. Later shape the dough into 8 balls and cover them with a towel.
3. One by one roll the balls into thin ovals. Using a pizza cutter or a knife cut each oval in the center into two halves, thus a total of 16 half-ovals will be produced. Cover the rest with a towel while filling others. Take a half-oval and brush half of each straight edge using your fingertip with water. Fold the second half of the straight edge over the fist half to form into a cone. Pinch close the seam. Hold the cone with the open end up and fill the cone with some of the filling. Cut off any excess dough and use it later. Brush one side of the open end with water. Pinch to seal the top edges enclosing the filling. Prepare all the samosas the same way and keep them covered under a towel.
4. Once all are ready, heat oil in a deep saucepan or kadai. To test if the oil is ready to be used, drop a pinch of dough into the hot oil, the dough should come up within a few seconds. Deep fry the samosas a few at a time until golden. Using a slotted spoon remove them into a strainer. Serve warm along with tamarind chutney or ketchup. Once cool, they can even be stored in the refrigerator for 2-3 days and reheated in the oven.

To Bake the Samosa:
After step 4, place the samosas in a greased or non-stick baking tray. Bake in a pre-heated 220° C oven for 20 minutes or until light brown in color. Serve immediately

Note:
1.If you are finding it difficult to enlcose the filling in the dough this way, please head over to Qimah Samosa-Minced meat stuffed samosa where I have explained an easier way to assemble samosas.
2. If there is any left over dough and the filling has been used up, you can make namakpaare out them.
3. If there is any left over filling and the dough has been used up, use the filling to make vegetable curry puffs.

This month Sailaja is on a chaat spree and she is dishing out varieties of chaat items on her blog. Head over her blog to go though them all.

Luv,
Mona

Ande ke Bhajiye

One of my favorite Iftaars, or snack items~Ande ke bhajiye, which I enjoy plain, sans ketchup or any chutney.

Egg slicer ~ a nifty kitchen tool that slices hard-boiled eggs evenly in a jiffy

Ande ke bhajiye – Egg Fritters

Ingredients:

Hard boiled eggs – 6
Gram flour/Besan – 1 1/2 cup
Ajwain/Carom seeds – 1 tsp
Red chilli powder – 2 tsp
Salt – 1 tsp
Ginger-garlic paste – 1 tsp

Ande ke Bhajiye ~ Egg fritters

Method:

1. Using an egg slicer slice the hard-boiled eggs and keep aside.
2. In a bowl, add the gram flour, red chilli powder, salt, ginger-garlic paste and carom seeds. Add cool fresh water to make a smooth and fairly ‘thick’ paste, make sure it not at all thin or runny, and keep aside.
3. Heat canola oil to deep fry in a kadai.
4. Gently add the egg slices to the gram flour batter, and cover the egg slices completely with the batter. This is important or else the uncovered egg will explode in hot oil. Drop the batter covered egg slices into the hot oil, one at a time, and deep fry in batches, until lightly brown on both sides. Remove with a slotted spoon into a large wire mesh strainer for the oil to drain away. Serve them immediately along with tomato ketchup, or any chutney.

This goes to the event ‘Joy from Feasting to Fasting-II‘ event being hosted by both Yasmeen and Lubna.

Luv,
Mona