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Archive for the ‘Snacks’ Category

Cheese Straws

Cheese Straws

Ingredients :

2 sheets (1 box) Frozen Puff Pastry (I used Pepperidge)
1 Egg
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup finely grated Gruyere cheese
1 tsp minced fresh thyme leaves
1 tsp salt
Freshly ground black pepper
All-purpose flour, for dusting

Method :

Let the puff pastry thaw in the refrigerator overnight.
Adjust oven rack to middle position, and heat oven to 400°F. Line the baking sheet with parchment paper.
Open each sheet of puff pastry on a lightly floured board or counter top.
Beat the egg with 1 tbsp of water and brush the surface of the pastry.
Sprinkle each sheet evenly with salt, pepper, 1/4 cup of the Parmesan, 1/2 cup of the Gruyere, and 1/2 tsp of the thyme.
Place a sheet of parchment paper on top of the cheese. Using the rolling pin, press the cheese mixture into the pastry.
Remove the sheet of parchment and cut each puff pastry sheet crosswise with a floured knife or pizza wheel into 11 or 12 strips.
Twist each strip several times, and then lay on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
Bake for about 10 mins to 12 mins, or they are until golden brown and puffed.
Turn each straw and bake for another 2 minutes
Don’t over-bake or the cheese will burn. Cool and serve at room temperature.

 

Note : Don’t let puff pastry thaw too much, just enough that you can open the sheet. The colder the puff pastry, the more easier it is to twist the strips.
Twisting each strip of puff pastry can be tricky, refer to this video, if you need help : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pJBHKhO-dFM

*If you feel, that each strip is too long and difficult to twist. Cut each strip into two and then twist. You will have double the amount of cheese straws 🙂

* If you don’t want to use egg wash, you can use olive oil instead.

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Bread Fritters (Bread Pakoda)

Bread Fritters (Bread Pakoda)

Ingredients:

6 slices of firm white bread
1 cup gram flour(chickpea flour/besan)
2 tsp rice flour
Pinch of baking soda (optional)
1 tsp coriander powder
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp red chili powder
1 tsp carom seeds (ajwain)
Salt to taste
Oil to fry

Method:

Remove the crust(edges) from all sides of the bread and cut the bread slices in to desired shapes (like triangle, square or rectangle).
In a bowl, mix gram flour with rice flour, carom seeds, red chili powder,coriander powder,turmeric powder and salt.
Add water slowly to make a smooth batter, so that there are no lumps in it.(Batter should be the consistency of pancake batter or dosa batter)
Add baking soda and mix nicely.
Heat oil in a pan on medium flame. Dip the bread piece into the batter and deep fry till both sides are golden.
Serve hot with tomato ketchup or mint chutney.

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Vegetable Puffs

Vegetable Puffs

Ingredients:

2 Frozen Puff Pastry Sheets (I used Pepperidge)
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
3 green chilies, finely chopped
1 tsp ginger garlic paste
1 tsp red chili powder
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp curry powder(or garam masala powder)
1/2 capsicum (green pepper), thinly sliced
1/4 cup corn kernels
1 Egg
2 tsp oil
Salt to taste

Method:

Thaw the puff pastry sheets for 40 minutes at room temperature (or as per the packet instructions)
Dust the board with little bit of all purpose flour and spread the puff pastry sheet, it prevents from sticking to the board.
One pastry sheet will have 3 columns, so cut into 9 pieces by splitting the column first and then rows. You would finally get 9 squares.
Meanwhile, in a pan heat oil, add onions, green chilies and saute till the onions become transperant.
Add ginger garlic paste and saute for another minute. Add capiscum, corn kernels, red chili powder, turmeric powder and curry powder.
Mix nicely. Cover and cook for 10 minutes. Do not forget to stir often to prevent it from burning.
Remove from heat and keep aside to cool. This is the filling.
Using a spoon, scoop in enough filling in each of the pastry sheet squares and fold in a desired shape (rectangle or triangle).
Close the edges carefully with hand or you can use a fork to give it a nice edged shape.
Prepare egg wash by whisking a egg with about 1 tbsp water.
Preheat the oven to 400 °F. Place the sealed puffs in a baking sheet, lined with aluminum foil.
Brush eggs wash on the top of each puff, and bake for 10 minutes at 400 °F or until they become nice golden in color.
Once the puffs are out of the oven, transfer them to a cooling rack and allow them to rest and cool down for 5 minutes.
Serve warm with or without ketchup.

Tips:

*The filling for the puffs is very flexible. Use any vegetable,meat and spice combination for the Puffs.
*Do not over fill the pastry as you will not be able to close the edges.
*The egg wash gives the puffs, a nice glazed look and color. If you don’t eat egg, you can use milk instead of  the egg wash.

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Egg Omelette

Masala Omelette

Ingredients:

2 Eggs
1 small onion, finely chopped
2-3 green chilies, chopped
1/2 tsp red chili powder (cayenne pepper)
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
Finely chopped cilantro leaves as required
Salt to taste
Oil as required

Method:

In a bowl, add onions, green chilies, red chili powder, turmeric powder, salt and mix. Keep aside for 10 minutes.
After 10 minutes, add cilantro leaves and mix again. Add eggs and whisk all the ingredients thoroughly.
Coat a small frying pan with 2 tsp oil and add the egg mixture.
Cover the pan with a lid and let the omlette cook on a medium flame for about 5 minutes.
Flip the omlette and cook for another 5 minutes or till it is crispy around the sides.
Serve hot with ketchup or bread slices.

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Besan ka Cheela

Savory Chickpea Flour Pancakes

Ingredients:

2 cups chickpea flour(besan)
1 medium red onion, finely chopped
4-5 green chilies, chopped
1/2 tsp red chili powder (cayenne pepper)
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp coriander powder
Finely chopped cilantro leaves as required
Salt to taste
Oil as required

Method:

Put all the ingredients except oil in a big mixing bowl.
Add small quantities of water to make a smooth batter, so that there are no lumps in it. Set aside for 10 minutes.
Heat a non-stick griddle on medium heat and grease it with oil.
Pour a laddle of batter in the middle of the pan and spread it evenly like an omelette (or a crepe or dosa).
Pour 1 tsp of oil around the corners of the pancake and cover it with a lid for a minute.
Remove the lid, put some more oil on the top & flip the pancake over.Cook for another for 2-3 minutes
Press the pancake lightly with a spatula all around so that it cooks evenly and turns golden brown and crispy.
Repeat the same with the remaining batter.
Serve the pancakes hot with ketchup or chutney.

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Cheese Corn Balls

Cheese Corn Balls

Ingredients:

For cheese corn balls:

2 cups boiled sweet corn kernels
1 1/2 cups grated cheese
1 medium potato,boiled and mashed
2 tsp white (or black) pepper powder
1 tbsp Cornflour
2 tbsp All purpose flour (maida)
1 tsp  oregano (optional)
5-6 green chilies, finely chopped
Salt to taste
Oil for frying
4 tbsp breadcrumbs

For the batter:

4 tbsp All purpose flour (maida)
1 tbsp cornflour
Water as required
Salt to taste

Method:

In a bowl, combine the cheese, potato and sweet corn kernels.
Add the salt,green chilies,white pepper,oregano,cornflour and all purpose flour. Mix thoroughly.
Divide and shape the mixture into tiny balls. Set aside for 10 minutes in the refrigerator.
Mix the all purpose flour,salt and cornflour with sufficient water to make a batter of thick consistency.
Dip the corn cheese balls in the batter and roll them in the breadcrumbs.
Heat the oil in a deep pan and fry the corn cheese balls on a medium flame to a nice golden color.
Serve hot with green chutney or tomato sauce.

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Upma, a simple breakfast and tea-time favorite for Indians made from semolina, is now gaining popularity in the US after Chef Floyd Cardoz prepared this winning dish in the finale of Top Chef Masters. His dish was essentially a twist from the traditional Indian recipe, made with mushroom, kokum and coconut milk.

Here I present you the recipe for Upma cooked in the traditional Indian way :

 

Upma

Upma

Ingredients :

1 cup semolina (Rava / Sooji)
2 medium-sized onions, finely chopped
5-6 curry leaves
4-5 green chilies chopped
1 inch piece of ginger, grated
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
Pinch of hing (asafoetida)
Juice of 1/2 a lime
2 cups hot water
2 tbsp oil
Salt to taste
Finely chopped coriander(cilantro) leaves to garnish

Method :

Heat a pan on a medium flame and roast the semolina lightly. Stir frequently and do not allow it to brown. Once done,  remove in a plate and keep aside.
Heat oil in a pan. Add mustard seeds, cumin seeds, curry leaves and green chillies. When the spluttering stops, add grated ginger and stir well.
Add the onions and fry till the onions are translucent and soft. Add hing and mix.
Add the roasted semolina and salt and mix well
Add the hot water, a little at a time, stirring constantly to prevent any lumps from forming.
Simmer and cover and cook till the Upma is like a very thick porridge. Turn off the heat.
Add lime juice over the Upma and mix well.
Garnish with chopped coriander and serve piping hot.

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Pav Bhaaji

Pav Bhaaji

Ingredients:

1 small head of cauliflower, cut into florets
8-10 french beans, string and chop
2 potatoes, peeled and cubed
2 capsicum, chopped
1/2 cup green peas
2 onions, finely chopped
3-4 green chilies chopped
1 tsp ginger-garlic paste
3 medium chopped tomatoes
2 tsp red chili powder
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp coriander powder
2 tbsps Pav Bhaji Masala (or more to taste)
1 tsp garam masala
Finely chopped coriander leaves as required
1 tbsp lemon juice
Salt to taste
Oil as required
Salted butter as required
Bombay Pav (Bread Buns) as required

Method:

Pressure cook potatoes, cauliflower, peas, beans and capsicum along with turmeric powder, salt and 2 cups of water, till soft.
Mash all the cooked vegetables using a masher or a hand mixer.
Heat oil in a vessel,  add green chilies and onions and saute till onions turn light brown.  Add the ginger-garlic paste and saute for another minute.
Add red chili powder, coriander powder,  pav bhaji masala,  garam masala powder and salt. Combine well.
Add the tomatoes and cook until soft, approx 5-6 minutes.  Add little water,  if required.
Add the mashed vegetables and mix well.  Reduce flame and cover and simmer for 14-15 minutes.
Be aware that the mixture can spurt up as it boils,  so keep a lid on it while you are not actively stirring it.
Cook till the bhaji(gravy) thickens.  Adjust the salt, if required.  Turn off the heat.  Add butter and lemon juice and combine.  Garnish with coriander leaves.
Slice the pav buns horizontally and butter both the sides.
Place them on a heated griddle and cook till the buttered sides are brown.

To serve :
On a serving plate,  place the toasted buns and a bowl of Bhaji garnished with coriander leaves.  In another small plate place chopped onion and a lemon wedge.

To make cheese pav-bhaji,  top the Bhaji with some shredded cheese. In India, the brand used is Amul cheese…in the US, Cheddar(white) cheese comes close to this.

Also, if  you do not have a pressure cooker, just boil the veggies with salt till soft and then smash with a hand mixer. The pressure cooker just makes the whole process quicker and you can add all veggies at once. If not using pressure cooker, would have to boil the potatoes separately as they take longer than the other veggies.

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Aloo Tikki

Aloo Tikki

Ingredients:

2-3 medium Potatoes, boiled
2 tbspn Bread crumbs
Small onion, finely chopped
3-4 green chilies,chopped fine
1 tsp red chili powder
1 tsp coriander powder
1 tsp amchoor(dry mango) powder
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp garam masala powder
Finely chopped coriander leaves as required
Salt to taste
Oil as required

Method:

Boil potato with the skin. Discard the skin and mash potato finely.
Add bread crumbs,  mix and knead to make a smooth dough.
Now add all the masala powders,  salt , onion,  green chili and coriander leaves.  Mix well.
Now take a small portion of potato dough, make a ball, then flatten it to get a pattie shape.
Heat a flat pan with little oil.  Place the tikki in the oil and shallow fry on both sides to a golden brown color.
Take off the pan and drain in a paper towel.  Similarly make tikkis with rest of the potato dough.
Take two tikkis in a plate.  Add Chole (click here for recipe) on top.  Add green chutney and tamarind-date chutney.
Garnish with chopped onions and serve hot.

Ingredients:1 small head of cauliflower, cut into florets
8-10 french beans, string and chop
2 potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 capsicum, chopped
1/2 cup green peas
2 onions, finely chopped
3-4 green chilies chopped
1 tsp ginger-garlic paste
3 medium chopped tomatoes
1 tsp red chili powder
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp coriander powder
2 tbsps Pav Bhaji Masala (or more to taste)
1 tsp garam masala
Finely chopped coriander leaves as required
1 tbsp lemon juice
Salt to taste
Oil as required
Salted butter as required
Bombay Pav (Bread Buns) as requiredMethod:

Pressure cook potatoes, cauliflower, peas, beans and capsicum along with turmeric powder, salt and 2 cups of water, till soft.
Mash all the cooked vegetables using a masher or a hand mixer.
Heat oil in a vessel, add green chilis and onions and saute till onions turn light brown. Add the ginger-garlic paste and saute for another minute.
Add red chili powder, corainder powder, pav bhaji masala, garam masala powder and salt. Combine well.
Add the tomatoes and cook until soft, approx 5-6 minutes. Add little water, if required.
Add the mashed vegetables and mix well. Reduce flame and cover and simmer for 14-15 minutes.
Be aware that the mixture can spurt up as it boils, so keep a lid on it while you are not actively stirring it.
Cook till the bhaji(gravy) thickens. Adjust the salt, if required. Turn off the heat. Add butter and lemon juice and combine. Garnish with coriander leaves.
Slice the pav buns horizontally and butter both the sides.
Place them on a heated griddle and cook till the buttered sides are brown.

To serve :

On a serving plate, place the toasted buns and a bowl of Bhaaji garnished with coriander leaves. In another small plate place chopped onion and a lemon wedge.

To make cheese pav-bhaji, top the Bhaji with some shredded cheese. In India, the brand used is Amul cheese…in the US, Cheddar(white) cheese comes close to this.

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Paniyaram

Paniyaram

Ingredients :

Idli/Dosa batter – 3 cups
1 onion,chopped fine
4-5 green chilies,chopped fine
1 tsp mustard seeds
Finely chopped Curry and Coriander Leaves as required
pinch of asafoetida (hing)
Oil as required
Salt to taste

Method:

Heat oil in a pan. Add mustard seeds and curry leaves and allow it to crackle.
Add chopped onion, green chillies, asafoetida powder and fry for few minutes until all onions turn light brown.
Then mix this and coriander leaves with the batter. Add salt if required.
Heat the paniyaram pan, add few drops of oil in each hole, and then pour 1 spoon of batter in each hole carefully.
Cook on a low flame. Once the paniyaram is cooked on that side, turn it to the other side carefully.Cook till its done.
Serve hot with coconut chutney.

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