Tag Archives: Indian

Recipe of the Month: Potato Bread Pakora

I’ve been experimenting with recipes and textures for the past few weeks and retried a recipe from my childhood. Every time I visited India when I was younger, one of my aunts would bring up a batch of these bread pakoras with a hot cup of masala chai. I called her a few weeks ago and asked her how to make them and I have to say they were absolutely delicious and savoury.

Here’s the recipe for all of you to try with your evening tea:

Ingredients:

  • White bread slices (5-10)
  • 2-3 large potatoes
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas
  • 1/2 tsp amchur masala (dry mango powder)
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala
  • Cumin seeds
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tsp red pepper powder
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped ginger
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped garlic
  • 1 small onion finely chopped
  • Hand-full of coriander finely chopped
  • 1 green chilli finely chopped
  • Oil to deep fry pakoras
  • 1-2 cups water in a bowl
  • 1/2 tsp chaat masala

Preparing Potato Masala/Stuffing:

  1. Boil potatoes until completely cooked (you can add a teaspoon of salt to the water to quicken the boiling process)
  2. Once potatoes are boiled and peeled, mash them until there are almost no clumps. Set aside until later
  3. Heat vegetable oil in a wok or kardai, add cumin seeds and let sizzle until seeds become golden brown in colour
  4. Add onions, ginger, garlic and green chillies; cook until onions are golden brown
  5. Add dry masalas (powders and seasoning) and mix well until the oil begins to separate from the masala
  6. Add frozen peas and cook for 4-5 minutes or until peas are soft and easily crushed
  7. Add potatoes and sauté until all ingredients are completely mixed
  8. Add coriander leaves and mix masala together
  9. Cook on low heat for 3-4 minutes
  10. Remove potato mixture from heat and allow to cool

Preparing & Cooking Bread Rolls:

  1. Remove edges from bread slices
  2. In a flat dish or plate add water, dip bread slice into water and remove it immediately, as you don’t want to over-soak the bread
  3. Squeeze out the excessive water from the slice of bread and lay it flat on a dry plate or the palm of your hand
  4. Scoop 1 tsp of potato stuffing (masala) onto the bread slice and begin rolling it into an oval ball shape, carefully ensuring that all the mixture is secured within the bread
  5. Repeat the process for the rest of the bread pieces
  6. Heat oil on medium flame in the wok/kardai; make sure oil is fully heated before placing bread roll in it, as cold oil will force bread to soak up a lot of the oil and the bread rolls will be unevenly cooked
  7. Once bread rolls are golden brown in colour, remove from oil onto a plate lined with paper-towels
  8. Sprinkle with chaat masala and serve hot with ketchup or your favourite green (mint-coriander) chutney (if you don’t have a dhaniya-pudinay ki chutney, you can make your own by following the recipe from HERE)
  9. Bon appetite!

Recipe of the Month: Mint-Coriander Chutney (Dhaniya-Pudinay Ki Chutney)

Indian people love their tea-time snacks and appetizers and in my house we’re as Indian as it gets; especially when it comes to food. Of course, yours truly enjoys experimenting with different recipes and so, I’ve been making tons of Indian snacks during the holidays.

But a staple item in most households is our dhaniya-pudinay ki chutney (mint-coriander chutney). This savoury chutney goes with everything! You can make it to dip snacks and appetizers in, or out it in your raita (yogurt side dish) or eat it with roti or parathas and even enjoy it on top biryani. It’s like ketchup in the modern world.

And of course, I have my mother’s recipe here to share with all of you.

Here’s how you make a delicious and savoury coriander and mint chutney to go with all your appetizers and snacks.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups roughly chopped coriander
  • 2 cups roughly chopped mint
  • 2-3 green chillies
  • 4-5 garlic cloves
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 3-4 tbsp water
  • 1 tbsp black salt (kala namak) or regular salt
  • Blender or mortar and pestle

Here’s what you do:

  1. Wash and roughly chop green chillies, coriander and mint leaves
  2. If you have a mortar and pestle, you can mash all the ingredients in that. But I’m not so traditional, so I used a blender
  3. Blend all ingredients for 1-2 minutes or until a thick paste is made
  4. At this time, you can adjust the liquidity consistency to your preference. We like a thick chutney so I only add a couple of tablespoons of water but you can add more if you want your chutney liquidity
  5. Pour into a glass jar and refrigerate
  6. Serve cold with your favourite snacks and appetizers
  7. Enjoy!

Happy Diwali

  Happy Diwali to everyone celebrating. My family and I wish you prosperity, love, health and wealth on this auspicious day. 

Here are some photos of my Diwali with my darling hubby and angel, daughter, Nid. 

And for all of you that don’t know, below you will find a detailed explanation of what Diwali is. 

   
    
 Diwali; The Festival of Lights 

Diwali also known as Dipavali in Sanskrit means row of lamps. It is one of the biggest and most important festivals known to Hindus, Sikhs and Jains around the world. Diwali commemorates the return of Lord Rama with his wife Sita and brother Lakshman after 14 years in exile and vanquishing the demon-king Ravana. When Lord Rama returned to his home down Ayodhya the capital of Rama, the residence of the city light the kingdom with millions of diyas to celebrate his return. The festival signifies the victory of good over evil and is broken out over 5 days.

Day 1 – Dhan Teras – Dhan means wealth and teras means the 13th lunar day of Krishna Paksha in the Hindu month of Ashwin. On Dhan Teras, the Owl form of the Goddess Laxshmi is worshiped to provide prosperity and well-being.

Day 2 – Naraka Chatrudasi marks the vanquishing of the demon, Narakasura by Lord Krishna and his wife, Satyabhama. It signifies the victory of good over evil.

Day 3 – Amavasya means new moon and this day is when Goddess of Wealth, Laxshmi is worshipped. Amavasya also signifies the story of Lord Vishnu in his dwarf incarnation as he vanquished tyrant Bali and banished him to hell. Vishnu then allowed Bali to return to earth once a year to light millions of diyas to dispel the darkness and ignorance on earth.

Day 4 – Bali Pratipada – This is the day that Bali leaves hell and rules the earth following Lord Vishnu’s orders to light diyas.

Day 5 – Bhai Dooj, also known as Yama Dvitiya represents the affection and love brothers and sisters have for one another. The story behind Bhai Dooj starts with Yama, Lord of Death and his sister, Yami. Yama visited Yami and Yami welcomed her brother with an aarti (prayer) and a feast together. As Yama was about to leave, he gave Yami a gift in return of her hospitality and to show appreciation.

Recipe Of The Week: Coconut Shirmp Curry

D loves a good curry. But if I add a South Indian twist to it, he loves it a 100 times more. I’ve made shrimp curry a million times. However, over the past few months, I have had a lot of fun experimenting and perfecting my signature shrimp curry recipe. I think I’ve finally nailed down one that everyone in my circle truly enjoys and begs for more. Here’s the recipe, try it out and let me know what you think!

Here’s what you need:

  • 50-70 medium size pre-cooked, de-veined shrimp (tail shell off)
  • 2 large red onions (finely chopped)
  • 1 cup coriander (finely chopped)
  • 1 large tomato (chopped or puree)
  • 1/3 cup ginger (grated or finely chopped)
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup tomato paste
  • 1/3 cup shredded dry coconut
  • 5-7 dry curry leaves
  • 3-4 tbsp. oil
  • 1 tbsp. jeera
  • 3-5 cloves
  • 1/2 cinnamon stick
  • 2-3 large black cardamoms
  • 1 tbsp. whole black pepper
  • salt to taste
  • 2 tbsp. curry powder
  • 1/2 tbsp. turmeric
  • 1 tbsp. dry mango powder
  • 1 tbsp. garam masala
  • 1 tbsp. jeera powder
  • 1 tsp. red chilli powder
  • 1-2 dry whole red chillies
  • 1 tbsp. dry methhi leaves (shredded or rub between hands to turn powdery)
  • 1 cup water (for a thicker curry, use 1/2 cup)

Here’s what you do:

  • Wash shrimp with lemon juice, sprinkle with curry powder and set aside
  • Pre-heat pan, add oil and let sizzle.
  • Add cloves, cinnamon sticks, black cardamoms and whole black peppers and let sizzle
  • Add jeera and cook until slightly golden brown
  • Add onions, ginger, dry whole red chilli and salt and cook until onions become translucent
  • Add tomatoes and tomato paste, mix well and cook until oil begins separating from paste (or oil begins rising)
  • Add curry powder, turmeric, dry mango powder, chilli powder, garam masala and jeera powder, mix well and cook for 5-10 minutes on low heat
  • Add shrimp and coat with all the masala, cook for 3-5 minutes
  • Add dry coconut and coconut milk and let boil for 5-7 minutes  on low heat
  • Add water, mix well and reduce heat to minimum and let cook uncovered for 15-20 minutes
  • Sprinkle coriander leaves and let cook for 2-3 minutes

Enjoy with rice or roti!

Karwa Chaut – Fasting For His Long Life

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It’s that time of year again, I’m dressed in bride-like traditional Indian clothing, makeup done, jewellery worn, henna applied and waiting for my darling husband to come home and feed my first sip of water after the moon rises. Yes ladies, it’s karwa Chaut today and I have kept a fast for D’s long life. We’re just minutes away from the moon rising and breaking our fasts. It’s been quite a long, tiring day and I’m quite hungry at this time. So, I’m signing off for now and will try to post later tonight or tomorrow!

You can read all about Karwa Chaut HERE. This is one of my previous posts about the details.

Xoxoxo

Recipe of the Week: Aloo Gobi

A simple but delicious dry curry, aloo gobi can be added to any Indian menu to please the vegetarian in us. Aloo gobi aka potato and cauliflower, is simple and quick to make.

Here’s what you’ll need:

1 head of cauliflower
2-4 large potatoes
Ginger
Green chilly pepper
Cumin seeds
Vegetable oil
Turmeric powder
Curry powder
Red pepper powder
Salt to taste

How to make it:

Add the oil to your pan, once heated, add cumin seeds and let sizzle until golden brown. Add finely chopped ginger and green chilly and let cook. Add potatoes (cut into small cubes) and stir. Wait until the potatoes are half cooked and add dry ingredients; turmeric, curry powder, red pepper and salt. Cook until the potatoes are nicely covered but still half raw. Now add the cauliflower and mix well. Reduce heat, cover and let cook on low until cauliflower is cooked, roughly 15-20 minutes.

Voila! There you have it!

Anniversary Dinner With Friends

Tonight’s the big dinner with 10-12 of our friends and I’m cooking up an Indian feast! We’re celebrating our 1 year wedding anniversary in increments. Tonight’s the friends dinner, tomorrow is D’s surprise anniversary gift, Wednesday is family dinner and then Thursday and Friday will be spent at Niagara Falls in a romantic suite at the Sheraton Hotel!

I’m looking forward to tonight’s dinner and the rest of the week eagerly and have already begun preparing. Since so many people are coming over and Indian food prepared at its best requires a good few hours, I’ve begun cooking my first dish now. Here’s tonight’s menu. I’ll post the recipes a bit later today or this week for all of you to try.

Appetizers:
Cocktail veggie samosas
Veggie pakoras
Indian party mix

Main course:
Jeers rice (cumin infused rice)
Roti (while wheat Indian bread)
Butter chicken
Rajma (kidney bean curry)
Aloo gobi (potato and cauliflower dry curry)

Sides:
Papad (crispy lentil patties)
Mixed beans and greens cold salad
Bundi ka raita (yogurt mixed with seasoning)

Dessert:
Fruit cream

Wish me success on my mass friends dinner!

Xoxox