Pyaaz ki Pakodi – Crispy Onion Fritters

July 30th, 2013 Mona Posted in Canola Oil, Curry leaves (fresh), Eid/Ramadhan/Iftaar, Ginger/Adrak, Gram Flour/Besan, Green Chillies, Hyderabadi special, Olive Oil, Onion/Pyaaz, Rice flour, Salt/Namak 1 Comment » 4,075 views

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

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Murgh Samosa – Chicken Samosa

August 17th, 2012 Mona Posted in Canola Oil, Cilantro/Kothmir (fresh), Egg/Anda, Eid/Ramadhan/Iftaar, Garam masala powder, Garlic/Lahsun, Ginger/Adrak, Hyderabadi special, Lemon/Nimbu, Minced Chicken Meat, Mint/Pudina (fresh), Poultry/Murgh, Red Chilli powder, Salt/Namak, Tamarind/Imli 1 Comment » 9,073 views

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

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Pudina aur Khopra ki Chutney

July 13th, 2011 Mona Posted in Black Gram/Urad Dal, Canola Oil, Cumin seeds/Zeera, Dried Red Chillies, Dry Desiccated Coconut, Garlic/Lahsun, Ginger/Adrak, Green Chillies, Hyderabadi special, Mint/Pudina, Mint/Pudina (fresh), Mustard seeds/Rai, Salt/Namak, Tamarind/Imli 7 Comments » 9,345 views

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

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Vegetable Curry Puff

August 18th, 2010 Mona Posted in Canola Oil, Carrot/Gajar, Cilantro/Kothmir (fresh), Coriander seeds, Cumin seeds/Zeera, Eid/Ramadhan/Iftaar, Garam masala powder, Ginger/Adrak, Hyderabadi special, Kasuri methi, Lemon/Nimbu, Mustard seeds/Rai, Peas/Matar, Red Chilli powder, Salt/Namak, White Potato/Aloo 13 Comments » 10,344 views

Puffs are one easy to make snacks when ready made puff pasty is available, perfect for tea-time, or at iftaar.

freshly baked vegetable puffs, ready to be eaten

Bakeries in Hyderabad sell puffs that vary in shapes and the fillings used. Egg puffs, chicken puffs, paneer puffs and vegetable puffs are a few examples. You can even prepare puff pasty at home if ready made puff pasty is not available at stores.

Vegetable Curry Puffs

Ingredients:

Frozen Puff Pastry – 1 package (2 sheets) [available in the freezer section of most grocery stores or supermarkets]
For Filling:
Canola oil – 1 tsp
Cumin seeds – 1/4 tsp
Black mustard seeds – 1/2 tsp
Fresh Ginger – 1 tsp, finely grated
Potatoes – peeled and chopped, 1 cup
Carrot – peeled and chopped, 1/2 cup
Red chilli powder – 1/2 tsp
Dry roasted Coriander powder – 1/4 tsp
Dry roasted Cumin seed powder – 1/8 tsp
Kasuri methi – 1 tbsp
Salt – to taste
Frozen green peas – 1/4 cup
Lemon juice –2 tbsp
Garam masala powder  – 1/4 tsp
Cilantro – 1 tbsb, finely chopped

Method:

1. Prepare the filling just as you prepare for Samosas.
2. Defrost the frozen puff pastry sheets according to directions. Using a pizza slicer, cut a sheet horizontally in the center. Then again cut the sheet vertically into 3 strips. Place a small ball of the filling on one side of each strip. Cover with the other side of the strip and gently seal the sides. Brush with some cold milk and bake according to instructions. Serve warm along with tomato ketchup.

This is my second entry to the The Hyderabadi Ramadan Food Festival that I am hosting on my blog.
For more details about the event, click here.

Luv,
Mona

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Masala Vada

April 14th, 2010 Mona Posted in Canola Oil, Chane ki Dal, Curry leaves (dried), Curry leaves (fresh), Dill/Suvabhaji (fresh), Ginger/Adrak, Green Chillies, Red Chilli powder, Salt/Namak, Yellow Onion/Pyaaz 6 Comments » 7,903 views

An Andhra special street food and snack, most often seen being sold at Indian Railway Platforms, these crunchy on outside but soft inside vada’s are my favorite tea time snack along with chutney and some warm chai. They are made out of lentils, herbs, spices and chopped onions. Sometimes I also dunk these vada’s into warm sambar and enjoy the vadas as a mini meal.

Masala Vada

This time I added a few dill leaves that were lying in the refrigerator. You can add fresh chopped cilantro or mint or amaranth leaves or even spring onions (if using spring onions, skip chopped onions in the recipe and add both the chopped greens as well as the whites) instead.

Masala Vada – Lentil Fritters

Ingredients:

Chana dal – 1 cup
Green chillies – 4-6, finely chopped
Ginger – 1 tsp, minced
Red chilli powder – 1/2 tsp
Curry leaves (fresh/dried) – 1 sprig, finely chopped
Salt – to taste
Onion – 1, small, finely chopped
Dill leaves – 1/4 cup, finely chopped
Canola oil – to deep fry

Method:

1. Soak the chana dal in a bowl with surplus fresh cool water for 2 hours. Later, drain and reserve about a fistful of the soaked chana dal aside in a bowl. Add the rest of it into a food processor. Process until coarse, do not puree the mixture, and do not add any water while grinding. Remove the coarse chana dal into a mixing bowl. Add the reserved soaked chana dal and add the rest of the ingredients except oil. Mix well, and shape into patties.
2. Heat oil to deep fry in a kadai or a deep saucepan. Once the oil is hot, fry the patties one by one on both sides until golden. Remove into a wire mesh strainer or a paper towel lined platter for excess oil to drain away and serve warm along with coconut chutney or coriander and mint chutney or sambar.

Luv,
Mona

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