Showing posts with label Appetizers. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Appetizers. Show all posts

Friday, April 7, 2017

Baked Spring Rolls

I have always fried spring rolls and have not tried baking them until today. I don't know why I always felt they would not be crispy enough. But this time they were as good as fried ones and my husband could not tell that they were baked  until I told him which kind of left him confused. They were not only crisp and crunchy but also not oily. I smeared them with olive oil and they turned out great. I can eat them without feeling guilty as they are healthy.   

Ingredients: For 12 Spring Rolls

24 Spring Roll Wrappers
1/2 Cup Shredded Chicken (1/2 Chicken breast)
1/2 Tsp Garlic paste
2 Cups Japanese style flat white Cabbage (finely grated)
1/4 Cup Carrot (thinly grated) 
2 Tbs finely chopped spring onions
1 Boiled egg
1/4 Tsp Black Pepper 
1/2 Tsp Hoisin Sauce
2 or 3 drops of Sesame oil
2 Tbs Olive oil
Flour and water paste
Sea Salt as required


1. Steam the chicken breast in a covered pot with a little water, garlic paste, salt and pepper till completely cooked. Remove and let it cool.

2. Grate the cabbage finely or slice thinly with a sharp knife to get long shreds. Add one tsp salt to the cabbage and mix it well by rubbing it with the salt with your fingers till the salt is dissolved and the cabbage starts oozing out water. Drain the water and repeat working with your fingers this time without the salt. Drain well again. Then wipe the shredded cabbage with paper towels till dry. Set aside.

3. Grate the carrot or make thin juliennes from thinly sliced carrots. Finely chop the spring onions.

4. Grate a hard boiled egg. Shred the steamed chicken with a fork and knife. 

5. Mix together the carrot, cabbage, spring onions, egg and chicken. Sprinkle some salt and black pepper as per taste, then 1/2 tsp hoisin sauce and 2 or 3 drops of sesame oil.

6. Place a portion of the filling in the near corner of the spring roll wrapper and apply the flour and water paste to the far corner away from you. You can also use egg white to seal instead of flour paste. Roll over neatly while tucking the near corner under the filling. When you roll to the centre of the square fold in both the sides then roll again tightly till the end (I used 2 wrappers for each roll coz my filling was a bit moist and I didn't want them to get soggy). For exact instructions please watch this video.

7. Brush the spring rolls with olive oil and place them on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. 

8. Bake in an oven preheated at 350 degrees fahrenheit for 30- 35 mins. The timing may differ with other ovens. When you are half way through baking turn them over and then bake till golden or evenly browned. Enjoy with sauces of your choice. 

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Apple Mango Ginger Salad

This salad tasted delicious and I finished it all. The tartness of the apples with the delightful aroma of the mango ginger along with the other ingredients kicked it up a notch. Mango ginger is a root vegetable like ginger with a slightly sour taste of unripe mango and a sharp spicy taste of ginger in a mild form. It has great health benefits. It is mostly used in pickles and can also be used as a flavouring to enhance the taste in meat, chicken or vegetable preparations. Here I used it in this salad with great success. 

1 Tart apple
1 hot house Tomato
6 garlic stuffed big green olives
1 tbs pickled mango ginger
1/2 cup grated carrot
5-6 Red/green leaf lettuce
Sesame seeds for garnish

2 tbs Olive Oil
Juice of half a lemon
Pink salt
Black pepper
1/2 tsp Harissa paste 
Brown sugar

1. Cut the apple into small dices. Chop the stuffed olives with the garlic and chop the pickled mango ginger. 

2. Gently squeeze out the seeds from the tomato, remove its stem and cut into small dices. 

3. Clean, wash, drain and dry the lettuce leaves. 

4.  Mix together the diced apples, tomatoes, grated carrots, chopped olives and mango ginger. 

5. Prepare the dressing by whisking together all the dressing ingredients till it emulsifies and changes to a creamy texture. Add this dressing to the salad and quickly mix well. 

6. Arrange the lettuce leaves on a salad plate. Spoon all the salad on to the lettuce leaves. Sprinkle some brown(roasted) sesame seeds on top for garnish. Serve immediately. 

1. Add the dressing just before serving the salad or else it will turn runny. 

2. You can pickle the mango ginger by cutting it into dices and adding vinegar and salt and store in a clean glass bottle. You could also use it in many preparations. 

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Coconut Shrimp Poppers

Everybody loves my coconut shrimp poppers and I have made these many times for get togethers at home, friends' parties, pot lucks etc and each time I made them they disappeared in no time. They have an extra crunch that awakens your senses when you take your first bite. Then the subtle heat from the dijon mustard infused with the Sriracha hot sauce kicks in resulting in a tongue tingling sensation. And the dipping soy sauce fired up with ginger and green chillies has enough zing to ignite your soul and take you to another level of flavour. Hmm, what an experience of flavours to enjoy!

Raw Jumbo Tiger shrimps -  1/2 Kg
Kellog's Corn flakes - 1 cup
Panko Crumbs           - 1 cup
White flour                -  1 cup
Black Pepper - 1tsp
Dijon Mustard - 1 tsp
Sriracha chilly sauce - 1 tsp
Garlic Powder - 1/4 tsp
Cumin Powder - 1/2 tsp
Black Pepper - 1 tsp
Egg - 1 -2
Flour - 1 cup
White sesame seeds - 1tbs
Unsweetened coconut flakes - 1/2 cup
Vegetable oil for frying
Salt to taste
1.Peel the shrimp but leave the tail, then devein, rinse, drain and dry on paper towels. Season them with salt and pepper and set them aside. 

2.Mix together dijon mustard, sriracha sauce, garlic and cumin powders and marinate the shrimps with this paste. Leave for half an hour. 

3.Put the corn flakes in a ziplock bag and crush them with a rolling pin. Do not make a fine powder. they should be coarsely crushed. Mix together the crushed corn flakes with the panko crumbs. Add some salt, pepper, coconut flakes and sesame seeds.  

 4.Place the beaten egg, flour and Panko Corn flakes mixture separately in 3 different bowls.

5.Take each shrimp, first coat with flour, next dip in the beaten egg and then roll in the panko corn flakes mixture. Repeat for all the shrimps with patience taking care to coat them evenly. 

6.Heat oil in a frying pan and fry them till golden brown and crisp. Drain on paper towels and serve hot with soy dipping sauce. Enjoy!

Dipping Sauce: 

Soy sauce                      -  1/2 cup  
Chopped ginger             - 1 tsp
Chopped green chillies - 1 tsp
White Vinegar               - 2 tsp
Franks Red hot sauce    - 1 tsp

1.Mix together all the above ingredients and leave aside for at least 15 mins. The soy dipping sauce infused with the flavours of ginger, green chillies and red hot sauce is now ready for use. Enjoy the Shrimp Poppers with the dipping sauce.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Stuffed Chilli Bhajjis

I have long been craving for the stuffed chilly bhajjis that I used to eat in Chennai,India at one particular location and my mouth still waters thinking about them. I loved them as a child and enjoyed eating them. I don't find them now when I go to India. The small tea shop by the Cinema theatre where a lady vendor used to sell them is no more, though the theatre is still there. Everything has changed. But the taste is still alive and it evokes fond memories of the past of how we (me with my family) walked home after watching the movie enjoying these hot fuming mouthwatering bhajjis. I still remember how her small tea stall was always crowded and how we watched her fry a bazillion of them in a huge wok as we waited impatiently for our turn to buy them These bhajjis were stuffed with a delicious spicy filling and back then I used to wonder what it could be. I tried to recreate it and  kept trying different combinations and finally after many trials i managed to come very close to the taste. This was the best I could do. 

Here's the recipe:

a few green fat chilli peppers
1 large potato
1 tbs MTR chutney powder
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp amchoor (dried mango) powder 
1/2 tsp ginger powder 
1/2 tsp kashmiri mirch powder
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 cup + 2 tbs besan (chickpea flour)
1 tsp ghee 
1/2 tsp pomegranate molasses (optional)
Salt to taste


1. Dry roast the cumin seeds. Grind them in a mortar and pestle and keep aside. 

2. Take a sauce pan, add a tsp of ghee (clarified butter) and on medium heat roast the 2tbs of besan (chick pea flour). When it starts leaving an aroma it means it is well roasted and the raw smell is gone. Remove from the pan into a bowl and keep aside.

3. Peel, boil and grate the potato when it is cool. 

4. Now add the roasted besan (chick pea flour), MTR chutney powder, roasted ground cumin and the other spice powders to the grated potato. Mix well. Add salt and pomegranate molasses. The filling is ready  now.

5. Take a green chilly slit it open vertically, remove the seeds and stuff it with the filling. Then take some more filling and wrap it around the stuffed chilly. Compress it inside your fist and make it smooth. Set aside.

6. Repeat the same process with the rest of the chillies and set aside.

7. Make a thick batter with the 1/2 cup besan (chick pea flour), 1/2 tsp turmeric powder, 1/2tsp cumin powder, 1/2 tsp chilly powder and1/4 tsp baking soda with a little water. 

8. Dip the wrapped stuffed bhajjis in the batter and swirl them around so that they gather more batter and then slowly slide them in the hot oil on medium heat. Keep splashing the hot oil over them carefully and turn them over from time to time in order to fry them evenly. Remove them when they are crisp and golden.  

9. Drain them on paper towels and serve them hot with mint or tamarind chutney. Enjoy!

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Roasted red bell pepper and peanut chutney.

Red Bell Pepper - 1
Peanuts - 1/2 cup
Dried red chillies - 3 - 4 long
Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
Vegetable oil - 1 tsp
Garlic clove - 1 large
Curry leaves - 6-8
Tamarind (seedless) - a marble sized round

For tempering:
Mustard seeds - 1/4 tsp
Dried red chillies - 1 or two small ones
Curry leaves - 4-5
Urad dal - 1/4 tsp
Vegetable oil - 1 tsp
Asafoetida - a pinch ( optional)

1. Roast the red bell pepper on a pan in the oven.
2. Heat a tsp of oil in a sauce pan. Roast the peanuts, cumin seeds and dry red chillies together. Then add the diced onions, stirfry for sometime before adding the tomatoes and curry leaves. 
3. Grind everything together coarsely with the tamarind. 
4. Peel the roasted pepper, remove and discard the seeds inside and lastly add it  to the ground ingredients and pulse 2 or 3 times till  it is well blended.  
4. Remove the chutney in a serving bowl.
5. Now for tempering, heat a tsp of  vegetable oil, add mustard seeds and when they splutter add dried red chillies, urad dal, curry leaves and lastly asafoetida. 
6. Quickly pour this on top of the ground chutney in the serving bowl. Enjoy with idli, dosa, vada or any finger snacks.  

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Baked Nipattu

I chanced upon this recipe on this blog, "Red Chillies" ( and I have been making this snack and enjoying it with my family ever since!
 Nippattu (Crackers) as it is called a popular indian snack, very common in Bangalore bakeries is traditionally a fried snack. But the baked version not only makes it healthy but also very tasty and addictive. 
I added some chopped cashews and peanuts to give them them a nutty crunch and that kicked up a notch!

Here's the recipe!

Plain white flour -  2 cups
Sesame Seeds  -   1 tbs
Sugar                  - 2 tsp 
Salt                       - 1 tsp
Yoghurt                 - 1 tbs 
Roasted peanuts - 1/4 cup
Roasted cashews - 1/4 cup 
Oil                          -1/3 cup
 Butter (melted)     - 4Tbsp 
 Baking soda         -  1 tsp
Onion (finely chopped) - 1 big
Fresh coriander leaves - 1/2 cup 
Geen chillies (finely chopped) - 2  

1. Mix together all the dry ingredients except the baking soda in a bowl.

2. Add the baking soda to the 1tbs yoghurt to make it whiz before mixing it in the flour mixture. 

3. Sprinkle the chopped onions, green chillies and cilantro with some salt, mix well with the knife and chop them all together to release their juices then add to the flour mixture.

4.  Pour in the oil and the flour mixture starts to come together. Add the melted butter when it forms into a ball. If you feel it is too dry then add just a little more thick yoghurt. Do not add water as we want a stiff consistency like samosa dough.

5. Knead well to make a stiff dough for 2-4 mins. Cover with a damp cloth and leave aside for 30mins.

6. Roll them out into flat discs or rounds or roll flat and cut into desired shapes using cookie cutters. But roll them out thin as we want them crispy.

7. After arranging them on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper, prick them all with a fork

8. Bake in preheated oven at 325 degrees fahrenheit for 25 - 30 mins till golden and crispy. Do not over bake. 

9. When they cool down, serve them with tea as a snack. You could prepare lots of them in batches and store them in an air tight container. Enjoy!

Friday, February 14, 2014

Salmon Cutlets

Fresh Salmon/Trout de-boned and minced - 1lb
Potato boiled and mashed - 1 medium size
Onion chopped -1small
Green chilly or Jalepeno - 1 small or half
Garlic clove - 1 small
Salt and Pepper
Turmeric - 1 tsp
Parsley chopped - a few leaves
Corn flour - 1 tbs
Olive oil - 1 tbs
A dash of lemon juice.

1.Mix together, minced salmon, chopped onion, fresh green chilly or jalepeno, parsely, salt and pepper and a dash of lemon juice.
2. Add corn flour, turmeric, salt and pepper to mashed potato, blend everything together with your hand and add it to the salmon.
3. Mix well and make small round balls, then flatten them on the palm of your hand and set aside. You can make 8 cutlets altogether.
4. Shallow fry all of them in one tbs olive oil on medium heat in a non-stick or cast iron skillet. Drain on paper towels.
5. Serve them hot with ketchup, chutney or chilly sauce. Enjoy!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Minty Kebabs

My failed attempts to make kebabs like the ones we used to enjoy at the Kareem's restaurant in Old Delhi left me frustrated. I still dream about their taste - so flavourful, juicy and spicy too.

My kebabs were always dry no matter what I did and when I tried to make them moist they would crumble and fall while they were being grilled. I always used extra lean meat to keep them healthy. But my husband would argue and justify saying: "It is the fat that keeps the kebabs moist. All the restaurants use some fat in their kebabs and all that fat drips off when you grill them", which took me a while to digest. Anyway, I decided to try them out with medium beef at his request, thinking, I am not going to make them often. Well I have an alternative for healthy eaters:  you could try my koubideh which are made with extra lean ground beef.

 The medium ground beef did do the trick and my kebabs did turn out well this time and did not fall off when I grilled them. Not only this, the Shaan's Chapli Kebab spices combined with fresh mint and cilantro enhanced their flavour.  I rarely use store bought spice mixes in my cooking except for a few selected dishes like Haleem, Nihari and Chapli kebabs as it turns out easy instead of an elaborate preparation.  The chapli kebab spices have whole coriander, cumin and garam masala spices in them with white flour. So I decided to grind them fine. Then I added the fresh mint and cilantro.  And I was very happy with the end result. They turned out not only juicy and flavourful but were very close to the ones we ate at Kareem's restaurant in Old Delhi.

My family loved them so much. I forgot all about the fat and enjoyed every bite of them.

Here's the recipe!

Medium ground beef - 350gms
Shaan's Chapli kebab Masala - 1/2 pack
Cilantro - 1/2 cup
Mint - 1/4 cup
Vegetable oil - 1 tbs
Veg oil for basting - 1tbs
 Flat metal skewers

1. Rinse the ground beef quickly in running water in a strainer without making it soggy. Let it drain a bit so that it is not watery. You don't need to rinse it if the beef was washed before grinding.

2. Take half of the Shaan's chapli kebab masala from the pack, place it in a dry grinder and grind it fine.

3. Wash the fresh mint and cilantro and towel dry them, then add to the grinder and grind them all together.

4. Mix together the ground beef, the ground masala and one teaspoon of vegetable oil.

5. Brush the skewers with oil as this makes it easier to slide off the kebab when it is done. With clean wet hands take a golf size ball of the prepared ground beef and wrap it around the skewer till it holds together. Clean and wet your hands again and shape it into a nice, long, smooth and round sausage then with your index and middle finger mimicking scissors pinch the kebab from one end to the other alongside to form ridges. Smoothen the edges.

6. Repeat the steps for all of them. Leave enough room on either side of the skewers so as to rest them on the grill.

7. Set your oven to broil on high (or 550 degrees fahrenheit).

8. Take an old cookie sheet and cover it with tin foil. Place the skewers on the cookie sheet. Then place it under the grill in the top position of the oven.

9. Broil for 3 mins on each side. Do not over cook as they would harden. When you see them turning golden brown turn over and cook for another 3 mins till they are just done. Keep some tin foil ready. Remove them from the oven. Discard the fat/oil drippings. Wait for sometime till they cool off a bit. Slide them off with your hands (wearing clean oven proof gloves) into the tin foil and wrap them up immediately.  This helps in retaining the moisture and heat till you serve them. You have to be very careful and use oven gloves while handling the skewers as they are very hot.

10. Serve them hot with rumali roti (thin flat bread like a hand kerchief) or naan and yoghurt mint chutney which you can make by grinding together 1/2cup each of fresh mint and cilantro, 1 small green chilly, 1/2 an inch ginger, salt and pepper. Then add this to 1/2 a cup of whisked sour yoghurt.

11. You can spread the yoghurt chutney on the Naan or rumali roti, place a long kebab inside, top with sliced red onions sprinkled with lemon juice and chaat masala, roll it into a wrap and enjoy!

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Braided pastry logs

My sister-in-law is a great cook. During my visit to Montreal to see her, I got to taste her pastry puffs. She made them into squares with ground beef and red pepper filling. They were so delicious that I enjoyed every bite of them!  I loved the texture of the pastry dough so much that I got this recipe from her to share with you all.

I gave a twist to this recipe by shaping the puffs in the form of a braided log. This not only gave a unique look but also kept the filling moist. And this time I used my own indian style filling which also enhanced the taste of the pastry well. You could in fact use any filling of your choice. And shape the pastry in your own way. Here's the recipe!


For the Pastry Dough:
White Flour - 3 cups
Eggs - 1
Butter (chilled) - 1/2 cup
Sour cream - 3/4 cup
Baking powder - 1
Salt - 1/2 tsp
Sugar - 1 tbs

For the Beef filling: 
Ground Beef - 1 lb
Onions - 2 (medium size)
Ginger garlic paste - 1 tsp
Red chilly powder - 1tsp
Coriander - 1 tsp
Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
Tomato paste - 1 tbs
Green chillies - 1 big or two small ones.
Cilantro - 1/4 cup
Cloves - 4
Green Cardamoms - 4
Vegetable oil - 2 tbs
White flour (just to sprinkle) - 1 tsp

Egg wash 
1 egg white beaten with one tbs milk

Pastry dough:

1. First to make the pastry dough, add baking powder, salt and sugar to the white flour and pulse the food processor one or two times.

2. Cut the chilled butter into small cubes and add to the processor, then pulse again.

3. Now add the beaten egg and sour cream. Combine everything well on low speed.

4. Remove dough and knead it with a little flour if it is too moist. Cover with a damp towel and set aside. 

Ground Beef Filling: 

1. Rinse the ground beef in a sieve. Keep a bowl under it and let it drain a bit.

2. Heat the oil in a sauce pan on medium heat. Fry half the finely sliced onions till soft and slightly golden.

3. Add ginger garlic paste, turmeric, red chilly powder and coriander powder. Mix well.

4. Roast the ground beef with salt in the masala till the water drains and it leaves an aroma. This will take 4-5 mins. Add tomato paste with half a cup water.  Sprinkle a little flour to make it bind. Mix well.

5. Cut the green chillies into small pieces on the cutting board with the remaining onions after sprinkling a little bit of salt. Crush the onions with the green chillies and salt and incorporate everything together with the knife. This makes  the onions sweat a little and also gives a flavour to the filling.
6. Add this onion mixture to the ground beef on top. Keep the cloves and cardamoms on one side of the pan. Top with chopped cilantro. Cover and simmer for 5 minutes till the water is absorbed and the filling is moist. Remove from stove.

7.Mix well and leave it to cool. Before using the filling don't forget to remove the cloves and cardamoms.


1. Roll the pastry dough into a big circle on the pastry board. Divide into 2 semi circles. Roll and shape each into a rectangle around 4"x9". 

2. Mix grated cheddar cheese with the ground beef filling and spread it horizontally on one side of the pastry sheet as seen in the picture.

3. Gently roll the pastry over half way while tucking the filling inside like a log. Make slits at the edge on the other side as in the picture.

4. Brush the edges of the strips with egg wash.

5. Now criss cross the strips on the log and stick them on the opposite side. The egg wash at the ends makes them stick well. Braid in the same fashion till the end of the log.

6. Brush with egg wash and finally to decorate sprinkle with black poppy seeds. Make sure the bottom of the logs is dry. So dust the pastry board with flour before working on the logs. 

7. Transfer the logs to a cookie sheet, greased and dusted with flour.

8. Bake the logs in an oven preheated at 350 degrees fahrenheit for 20 - 25 mins till golden brown. Cut the braided pastry logs int 3 inch pieces and enjoy!

Friday, February 15, 2013

Traditional Samosa Puffs

These samosa puffs are not made from puff pastry dough but from the same dough for samosas. They are layered and shaped like puffs and on frying become crunchy like a samosa. This is a popular recipe running in my husband's family - my mom in law's favorite snack and I love it too.

Here's the recipe.

Ingredients for the dough:
White flour - 4 cups
Vegetable oil - 1/4 cup + 2 tbs
Baking powder - 1/2 a tsp
Salt - 1 tspn
Water as needed

Fillings of your choice: Chicken filling, Shrimp mushroom filling, Lamb/beef filling, potato paneer filling or potato peas filling.
Chicken filling

Chicken/Lamb/beef filling: 
Chicken breast ground: 1lb
Onions- 1 big + 1 very small.
Ginger garlic paste -1tsp
Green Chillies - 2- 4 small ones (you can omit them if you don't want it spicy or just use one. But they give a good flavour to the filling.  Slitting them and removing the seeds also lessens the heat).
Cilantro - 1 cup
Cloves - 2
Dark Cinnamon bark - 1/2 an inch
Green Cardamoms - 2
Dhania(coriander) powder-1 tsp
Turmeric - 1/2 tsp
Vegetable oil - 2 tbs + 2 - 3 cups for deep frying the samosas.
Beef filling


For the Filling:
1. Make the chicken mince using a mincer using clean and dry chicken breast cubes cut into cubes. Keep the mince aside.
2. Chop the small onion (1/2 cup). Heat 2 tblspns vegetable oil in  a pan Add whole cinnamon bark, cloves and green cardamoms followed by the chopped onion. Fry till golden brown.
3. Add ginger garlic paste, Kitchen king masala, chopped green chillies and turmeric. Mix and cook well.
4. Add sliced onions chopped green chillies (optional) and cilantro, close the lid. Do not stir or mix.
5. Once the meat is cooked, remove and allow it to cool.
6. Remove all the whole spices (cloves, cinnamon & cardamoms) that were added as you don't want to bite into them when you are eating the samosa puffs. They are only added for flavouring the dish.

For the dough:
1. Take 4 cups of flour, add salt and baking powder. Add 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil and process it in a food processor. Add water little by little through the tube and pulse it again and again till it forms into a soft and pliable dough. It should not stick to your hands. Pulse it more and when it starts to spin it is time to remove it. Cover with a moist tea towel and set aside.

Roll the dough on a pastry board to a 1cm thickness

Cut into strips 3" x 3".  Brush with vegetable oil and dust with flour.

Pile the strips one on top of the other - the dry side on top of the greasy side.

Cut into squares. Roll the squares on both the sides.

Add the filling in the center. Brush the two sides of the triangle with flour paste  flour mixed with water to form a spreadable paste or you can use beaten egg white). Close the triangle by pressing the sides a little away from the edge. This helps in making the edges flaky on frying. 

Fry them in moderately hot oil by gently pushing the oil towards the edges in a rowing motion so that the edges open up a bit and look flaky. Turn over and fry till they turn crispy and golden brown. 

Drain them on paper towels. The Samosa puffs are now ready. Serve them hot with chutney or ketchup. Mint chutney, tamarind chutney and chilli garlic sauce are good accompaniments.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Crispy Onion Samosa Chaat

The Fresh Gourmet crispy onions from Costco are amazing. Their crunch and flavor gave a new dimension to the samosa chaat I made today. Unlike other fried onions we buy from Indian stores these are neither oily nor salty. I would say you could not only use them in some of your dishes but also eat them as a snack. I served my chaat with pomegranate seeds strewn on top, also some hickory sticks which made it even more tantalizing! And above all it takes only 2 mins to make this chaat.

Here's the recipe!

2 Samosas
1 cup Yoghurt
1/4 cup Onion chopped
1small Green chilli chopped
1/2 tsp Ginger chopped
1/2 tsp Chaat masala powder
1/4 cup Fresh Gourmet crispy onions
1 tbs Green Chutney
1 tbs Tamarina Chutney
Just a few Hickory sticks (optional)
Salt to taste
Fresh Cilantro chopped
A few Fresh pomegranate seeds


With these ready made ingredients make your chaat in no time. So quick and easy to make, so yummy to eat!

1. Whisk 3/4 cup of yoghurt in a bowl. Add chopped onions, green chillies, ginger and a little     cilantro, salt and chaat masala powder. Mix everything well. 

2. Break the samosas into bite size pieces and spread them in a layer over the yoghurt mixture.

3. Drop 1tbs each of the tamarina and green chutneys over the samosas as shown in the picture.

4. Spread the remaining yoghurt over the chutneys and sprinkle some chaat masala powder.

5. Layer the top generously with the Fresh Gourmet crispy onions. Add some Hickory sticks if you want more crunch and flavour.

6. Decorate with fresh pomegranate seeds and chopped cilantro. Enjoy your tongue tingling and mouth watering Chaat!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Spicy Indian Sushi

Who says Sushi can be made with only uncooked sea-food or raw vegetables? My little parcels of joy can change the way we eat indian food. I feel I am down with Sushi mania now and I suppose my daughter Asma who is Sushi crazy has already infected me!! I enjoy eating all kinds of Sushi except the ones with the soft shell crab coz the whole crab is stuffed with its shell which I find unappetizing to my palate.                                                                                 
I always craved for some spicy Sushi and being a fond lover of Indian food I longed to indianize the Sushi. Asma's crazy culinary adventures dragged her away from Indian food altogether and she was beginning to develop a hatred for indian cuisine which really hurt me. Last week I packed the indian sushi stuffed with the fried chilly shrimp for her lunch expecting her to throw it away (usually she never touched the shrimp if I made them in indian style). But I was shocked with disbelief when she told me that it was delicious and that she not only ate it but enjoyed it too. 

Here's the Sushi and its Recipe!

2 cups Sushi Rice boiled / steamed
1 Pack Sea weed 
20 Jumbo Black Tiger Shrimp or any other variety but uncooked 
1 tsp Kashmiri Red chilly powder
1/2 tsp Turmeric
1 tsp Ginger garlic paste
1 cup Shredded coconut
1/2 cup Cashew nuts 
2 tsp MTR chutney masala
2 tbs Vegetable oil 
Salt as per taste

Wasabi, pickled ginger, soy sauce with ginger and green chillies or frank's red hot sauce etc as condiments.

Sushi mat, Cutting board, Cling wrap for preparation. 


1.Peel, wash, devein and clean the shrimp.

2. Add salt, turmeric, red chilly powder and ginger garlic paste to the shrimp, mix well.

3. Fry them in a tbs of vegetable oil in a skillet or wok on both the sides and set aside.

4. Roast the shredded unsweetened coconut in a non stick pan. Add ground roasted cashews. mix well and let it cool down.

5. Spread the Sushi mat on a cutting board. Put a sheet of plastic wrap of the same size on the sushi mat. (You may also cover the sushi mat with plastic wrap on both the sides if you want).

6. Take a scoop of the boiled sticky sushi rice and with wet hands spread it on the saran wrap. Press it with your hands into a thin smooth layer.

7. Now put the sea weed on the rice layer.  This is for inside out sushi. For the regular sushi the rice is spread on the sea weed.

8. Cut the masala shrimp into small pieces. Add them in a horizontal line on one side on the sea weed  a little away from the edge from your side as shown in the picture.

9. Roll the free edge to envelop the shrimp filling with both the hands tightly. The mat helps you roll easily. As you are rolling with the help of the mat, take care to keep peeling off the plastic wrap from the rice. You don't need to do this if you have wrapped the mat with the plastic wrap on both the sides. Complete till the end as shown in the picture.

10. Now roll it in the roasted shredded coconut and cashew mixture till it sticks evenly throughout.

11. Cut into sushi rolls with a clean wet knife and serve with pickled ginger, wasabi sauce and soy sauce. Enjoy!


You can use different fillings for different flavours. I used eggplant filling, avocado mango filling for vegetarian sushis.

For traditional plain rice sushi, mix the rice with a tbs of rice vinegar and sugar. For extra flavour a little piece of the sea weed is soaked in the white vinegar for sometime and then removed before adding the vinegar to the rice. In Japanese "Su" means vinegar and "Shi" means rice. So Sushi is not complete without any vinegar in it.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Spinach Dill Vadai (fritters)

These vadas smell great when frying and taste great too. They are very flavourful and make a good evening snack with tea. I made them for Ifthaar with ganji (a kind of flavourful rice porridge made in south India especially for ifthaars). They disappeared in no time.

Whole urad dal - 1 cup
Spinach chopped - 1 cup
Dill chopped - 1 cup
Onions chopped - 1/2 cup
Green chilles chopped - 4-6 small
Curry leaves chopped - 1/4 cup.
Cliantro chopped - 1/2 cup
Ginger chopped - 1 tbs
Salt to taste
Vegetable oil to deep fry - 2 cups

1.Clean, wash and soak the urad dal overnight or for atleast 4 hrs. Clean wash, drain and wipe dry the spinach and dill after picking the leaves from the stems. Then chop them well and set aside.

2. Take half the dal and grind it fine in a food processor. Remove and set aside.

3. Put the rest of the dal and pulse it just two or three times so that it breaks up a little. Remove and mix it with the finely ground dal to make a sticky dough. Do not add water while grinding. You could just sprinkle a little bit when you finely grind the first half.

4.Mix together chopped onions, green chillies, ginger and curry leaves and chop them all together on the cutting board with a little salt which is just enough for the onions.

5. Add a little salt to the ground urad dal and mix well. Now add the chopped spinach, dill, cilantro, curry leaves and onion mixture and mix everything well with the urad dal.

6.Take a lump of the vadai batter with wet hands press gently to give a flat shape and make a hole in the center using your fingers and thumb and gently immerse it in the oil. You have to be really very careful at this step. You can use a flat spatula to slowly drop the vadai in the oil if you are not confident.

7. When it turns golden brown at the bottom and crispy on the sides, it is time to turn it over and fry on the other side.

8. Fry in batches of 4 - 6 depending on the size of your frying pan till all of them are evenly browned and crisp.
9. Remove from frying pan, drain on paper towels and serve them hot with mint  or red coconut chutney.

10. Or you can enjoy them with ganji (rice porridge).